|On March 18 police busted a large drug processing lab in a Burnaby residence where police say fentanyl was being cut with heroin and other fillers. Photos of the lab released today show a filthy kitchen cluttered with drugs, chemicals, scales, blenders, and mixing instructions written on post-it notes.|
"They would have recipes on their cupboards in yellow sticky memos, just like you would with baked bread or muffins," said Police. Last month, the province declared a public health emergency because of drug-related deaths.
|In March Scott Pipping and Adam Summers were arrested. They remain in custody. Twenty-one charges have been recommended against them with more charges coming. A huge amount of drugs and cash was seized:|
Approximately 4.5 kg heroin.
Approximately 12 kg cocaine.
Over 4,500 oxycodone/Oxycontin pills.
Over 1 kg of methamphetamine.
125 grams of fentanyl.
Nine firearms (and 2 silencers/suppressors).
Over 1.5 million in cash.
Over 100 kilograms of cutting agents.
|As government data tracks a spike of fentanyl across Canada, people who use illicit drugs in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside say there is virtually no heroin left on the street after it has been pushed out by the cheaper and more potent fentanyl.|
There have been 256 fatal overdoses from illicit drugs in the first four months of this year in B.C. There were 480 reported in all of 2015. Fentanyl's connection to those deaths has been surging at a staggering rate. Fentanyl's takeover is evident by how easily people are overdosing on small amounts of what is being sold as heroin.
This picture, purported to show a powder sample of W-18, appears on a website based in China that promises to ship it. 'Not for human consumption,' reads the caption.
|The first known fatality in Alberta linked to the highly lethal new street drug W-18 has been confirmed. A 35-year-old Calgary man who died from a drug overdose in March had taken W-18 along with heroin, and 3-methyl fentanyl, a highly toxic form of fentanyl, according to the office of the Chief Medical Examiner.|
Police say 3-methyl fentanyl (3-MF) is an analog of fentanyl that is 10 to 15 times more toxic than the base version of the street drug. EMS crews were called to a hotel in south Calgary late in the evening on March 7 and declared the man dead at the scene.
W-18 is a legal opioid and is being called the deadliest trend in more than three decades.
Police found drug paraphernalia and a Naloxone kit — a drug that can be injected to temporarily reverse an overdose of fentanyl or other opioids — in the room. The Naloxone kit had not been used. It is not know if Naloxone is effective against W-18. Police say organized crime is behind a recent increase in the amount of fentanyl and its analogs being trafficked, as well as the recent arrival of W-18 on the streets. Because it only takes tiny amounts profit margins are enormous compared to most other drugs. It is virtually impossible to test for trace amounts of drugs like fentanyl or W18 — which police describe as 'scary and terrifying' because of how fatal even a small dose can be. |
Health Canada proposed in February 2016 to list W-18 in Schedule I of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
|On December 11, 2015 Edmonton Police raided 3 properties. One was in a rural subdivision near Beaumont, another was in southeast Edmonton and the third was in Red Deer County.|
|Police seized four kilograms of an unidentified white powder during a drug raid in Edmonton in December. The powder was sent to Health Canada for testing and the department’s laboratory confirmed roughly two weeks ago that the powder is 90 per cent pure W-18.|
W-18 is a synthetic opioid 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl.
|W-18, a drug 100 times more potent than fentanyl, has turned up in B.C. for the first time.|
W-18 was first synthesized by a trio of chemists at the University of Alberta in the early 1980s. Its formula was forgotten until its patent expired. Police believe labs in China are producing it again. W-18’s extremely high potency makes it far more profitable by weight than heroin, and it's easier to produce, conceal and ship. Manufacturers and distributors freely exchange the drug over the Internet.
|W-18 and fentanyl are both used to manufacture counterfeit pills. Poor mixing of ingredients can create concentrated 'hot spots' in them, which cause deadly overdoses|
W-18 first re-emerged in Calgary, where it was detected by police last summer. Last week a “public health emergency” was declared in B.C. in response to the significant increase in drug-related overdoses and deaths. The declaration, typically reserved for a contagious disease outbreak, is the first in Canada. Provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall cited more than 200 overdose deaths in B.C. during the first three months of 2016, a pace that would lead to 800 deaths this year if it continues.
Roxy Blood and Tim Eagle Speaker, both of whom died from fentanyl
|The man accused of providing the deadly fentanyl that killed an Alberta couple is now facing manslaughter charges, a rare legal step.|
Bobby Weasel Head, a 41-year-old Blood Tribe member had charges upgraded to manslaughter, which is unusual in fatal drug cases.
This street in Stand Off has earned the nickname Oxy Alley, given high volumes of drug activity. Oxy80 is often the street name for fentanyl.
|Police were called to a home on the Blood reserve southwest of Lethbridge on March 20, 2015, when they found Roxanne Blood, 41, and Timothy Eagle Speaker, 46, dead at the scene.|
Investigators believe the parents of four children had been at a birthday party and were provided with a drug containing fentanyl. Weasel Head and his co-accused, Jessica Good Rider, 26, and Charles Shouting, 35, both of Stand Off, were arrested within days of the party.
|Public health officials in Toronto are raising the alarm for the second time in recent weeks about the risks associated with fentanyl after reports of a spike in fatal overdoses.|
An alert was issued Tuesday after 4 overdose deaths in two days. They reported “a white powdered substance sold as heroin and/or ‘china white’” is behind the overdoses. An illicit version of fentanyl is known on the street as China White.
|The fentanyl made in clandestine labs is 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin. Powdered fentanyl looks like heroin and is often mixed with the drug — or sold as heroin — since it’s far cheaper and easier to manufacture. Even small doses of fentanyl can be lethal.|
In Alberta last year 272 overdose deaths were connected to fentanyl.
|Toronto Public Health also issued an alert in February, after six people overdosed in a five-day period. Health-care advocates are calling for greater access to naloxone, which reverses the symptoms of an opioid overdose. Health Canada recently changed naloxone’s status from prescription-only to make it available without a prescription. Individual provinces also need to approve the loosened restrictions.|
|The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) last year issued an alert about fentanyl, warning that overdoses were “occurring at an alarming rate throughout the United States.” The drug is so fast-acting and lethal that fentanyl victims are sometimes found with needles still stuck in their arms. The DEA said that powdered fentanyl was being brought into the U.S. chiefly by Mexican-based cartels.|
President Barack Obama is seeking $1.1-billion in new money to expand treatment for opioid addiction. On Tuesday, the President attended the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, where he announced new funding for states to buy naloxone.