Fake Oxycontin pills containing fentanyl are displayed during a news conference at RCMP headquarters in Surrey on Sept. 3, 2015. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Fentanyl increasingly found in drugs in Downtown Eastside: study

News comes after it was announced fentanyl was linked to 81% of fatal overdoses in B.C. last year

Researchers say opioid users in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside are increasingly testing positive for the potent painkiller fentanyl, which was linked to the majority of fatal overdoses in B.C. last year.

Dr. William Honer, head of UBC’s psychiatry department, was part of a study that followed 237 people living in marginalized housing in the neighbourhood between March and July last year.

READ MORE: Province announces $1.5 million in funding to combat overdose epidemic

READ MORE: Fentanyl-linked overdose deaths soar in B.C.

At the beginning of the study, he says urine samples from 45 per cent of people who reported using opioids tested positive for fentanyl, but five months later that number jumped to 100 per cent.

The BC Coroners Service released statistics Wednesday showing fentanyl was linked to 81 per cent of the 1,422 fatal overdoses across the province last year.

Honer’s research included 103 people who were in opioid-replacement programs, where they were prescribed methadone, suboxone or prescription heroin.

He says over the five months of the study, half of those involved in the replacement programs submitted urine samples that tested positive for fentanyl.

He says the results show there is a need for more comprehensive treatment that addresses mental illness and physical ailments as well as addiction.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

VIDEO: Rivermen back on the ice in Langley tonight

In their game against West Kelowna tonight, Langley’s junior A hockey team gets into action at 7:15.

Louder helicopter partly to blame for rash of complaints in Surrey: RCMP

Police say helicopter training is conducted in Cloverdale because it’s ‘a very practical area where we do a lot of real police work’

Chances coming for public to have say on Langley tax rates

Local councillors will soon debate property tax rates for 2019.

Parking rules could limit ‘tandem’ spots in Langley

The Township is considering limits on restrictive parking in townhouse complexes.

End ‘exploitative’ parking fees at Lower Mainland hospitals, group says

HospitalPayParking.ca is criticizing a new contract between health authorities and Impark

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

South Surrey mother ‘never called 911’ after killing daughter, court hears

Crown submits evidence shows Lisa Batstone wanted eight-year-old Teagan to die

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Heavy snowfall expected for Coquihalla, Okanagan valley

Coquihalla highway, the Connector, and Highway 3, from Princeton to Allison Pass are getting snow.

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Video: Runaway Coquihalla dog returned to owner

Archer, the dog found roaming along Coq. Hwy. on Jan. 19, has been reunited with owner

Most Read