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Bad batch of drugs blamed in string of Victoria overdoses
A man found dead in a downtown Victoria parkade over the weekend likely overdosed on drugs, but police say it’s too soon to tell if they were laced with fentanyl.
First responders arrived at the Johnson Street Parkade Sunday to find the man dead in a stairwell. The BC Coroners Service is now investigating his death.
It was one of more than 20 overdoses that happened over the weekend, police say.
“It’s concerning that there’s been so many in such a short period of time,” said Victoria Police spokesman Const. Matt Rutherford. “Of course there’s always talk about fentanyl. It’s too early to confirm what the actual drug was. We do know that there is potentially a bad batch of drugs going around right now.”
We have seen an increase in overdoses over the weekend. Officers believe that there may be a bad batch of drugs on the street.— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) December 21, 2015
On Monday, workers at the Rock Bay Landing shelter say they witnessed two people overdose. Both were rushed to hospital for treatment.
Campers at the tent city on Victoria’s Courthouse lawn also said heroin laced with fentanyl could be to blame for the spate of overdoses.
Those who work closely with drug users say the bad batches typically make their way to Greater Victoria two to three times per year.
Mayor Lisa Helps renewed calls for a safe injection site in Greater Victoria to prevent overdose deaths.
"In the City of Victoria's strategic plan, which was approved by council at the beginning of 2015, it has us working as partners to create a safe consumption site somewhere in the region," said Helps.
Police and social workers are now trying to get the word out about the potentially tainted drugs.
Fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic, is 50 to 100 times more powerful than other opioids including morphine.