Unknown green opiate causes 7 overdoses in Vancouver

Health authority warns users not to do drugs alone

Vancouver Coastal Health is asking drug users to be on alert after an especially toxic opiate caused seven people to overdose at a supervised consumption site.

Staff received reports of “similar and unusual symptoms” connected to a “green-coloured opiate” at the Maple Overdose Prevention site in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Tuesday night, said spokesperson Tiffany Akins.

READ: B.C. hits record number of illicit drug overdose deaths: coroner

Seven people were said to have shown signs of muscle rigidity and “pinned,” or constricted, pupils.

“We used our new radar warning system and sent an alert out to relevant service providers,” said Akins. You can sign up for these alerts by “alert” to 236-999-3673.

She said the drug might not necessarily be new or unusual, but the health authority doesn’t know what it is.

“People don’t check their drugs [before they use],” she said. “We only know what they think that they bought.”

Because drugs are often bought and used in small quantities, Akins said, Vancouver Coastal Health can’t send anything to a lab for testing.

“All we know is that it was a more toxic substance than we usually see,” she said.

Fraser Health confirmed that they have not had any reported cases of the unknown green opiate at either one of their supervised consumption sites.

All seven people were revived, likely, Akins said, because they were not using alone.

“That’s what these overdose prevention sites are for. They save lives,” she said. “Who knows what would have happened if they were using alone.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

One man dead after crash at Highway 10 and 152 Street in Surrey

Pedestrian hit by two vehicles: Surrey RCMP

Replica totem pole to be raised at Peace Arch Park

‘Reconciliation ceremony’ will include SFN leaders, provincial politicians

Tour de Valley stops in White Rock

White Rock RCMP Const. Carly Godlien raised more than $20,000

‘Like an Alfred Hitchcock movie’: Birds fall dead from the sky in Tsawwassen

Raptor expert says he’s never seen it happen anywhere in the Lower Mainland

Delta resident raises more than $100K for Easter Seals

Archie Campbell has rappelled down the side of a building six times to raise money for disabled kids

VIDEO: Tour de Valley riders visit Surrey elementary school

Students create signs to support riders

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

VIDEO: Woman files complaint over treatment of cat with two broken legs

Ariel Johnston of Abbotsford says her pet was sent home without pain medication

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

Most Read

l -->