VIDEO: Langley groups team up to host forum on fentanyl’s dangers

The public is invited to learn about the powerful opiod drug that's causing unintended overdoses.

  • Oct. 21, 2016 1:00 p.m.

What’s so bad about fentanyl?

Medically, it’s a fast-acting pain killer, but in the drug trade, it’s causing a big spike in overdose deaths.

Fentanyl continues to be detected in about 61 per cent of fatal drug overdoses, according to the latest statistics released by the B.C. Coroners Service.

The 302 cases in which fentanyl was detected is more than triple the number for the same nine months of 2015.

More overdose deaths happened in the Fraser Health region – 195 so far in 2016 – than Vancouver Coastal (128), Vancouver Island (107) or the Interior (93).

The public can learn about the drug and its impact in Langley at a public forum Oct. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Township Civic Facility, 20338 65th Ave.

“This is aimed at parents, caregivers and youth. Our approach is to inform them about what is happening in Langley, provide stats, what’s on our streets, and support for how to talk to their kids and or peers,” said Barb Stack, involved in organizing the event with the Local Action Team.

The Child and Youth Mental Health Substance Use Local Action team is putting this on.

Presentations will be from Fraser Health, the RCMP, Langley Community Services Society and a panel of experts.

There’s opportunity to ask questions.

Fentanyl is up to 100 times stronger than other opiods such as morphine, heroin or oxycodone.

A lethal dose of pure fentanyl for a typical adult can be as little as two milligrams, or the size of a few grains of table salt.

Other streets drugs are being contaminated with fentanyl, causing users to OD.

Authorities are also now finding that emergency personnel are being exposed through ambient contact and requiring medical help.

It can be absorbed through the skin and accidental inhalation of airborne powder can also occur if not handled properly.

The B.C. government declared fentanyl a health emergency back in the spring.

The RCMP recently released a statement and video about the impact being seen by emergency personnel.

Illicit forms:

· As a patch

· In powder form (alone or mixed with other drugs)

· As a liquid

· In tablet form, which may not be clearly marked as containing fentanyl.

“The danger this drug presents to all Canadians cannot be overstated,” said Bob Paulson, RCMP commissioner. “It’s spreading across the country, leaving a trail of misery and death, and first responders and the public need to know that even being near it can make you sick, or worse.”

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