Langley has already seen six people fatally overdose here in the first two months of the year, according to figures released today.
The statistics from the B.C. Coroner’s Service show that in 2016, there were 29 overdose deaths in Langley.
That was a sharp increase. In 2013, 2014, and 2015 there were 10 deaths each year. Previous years ranged from a high of 10 to a low of two.
The increase in overdose deaths is largely due to the use of fentanyl by drug dealers. Fentanyl is an extremely potent painkiller that is being used to spike other drugs, particularly heroin.
Emergency crews here in Langley have been issued naloxone kits, which can be used to help resuscitate an overdose victim. More kits are being handed out to addicts, as well as social workers and others whose work brings them into contact with illicit drug users.
Naloxone kit training has been offered several times in recent months.
The presence of fentanyl has changed the way police respond to drug seizures, making them extremely cautious as they avoid touching or breathing in any unknown powder.