Fake Oxycontin pills containing fentanyl are displayed during a news conference at RCMP headquarters in Surrey on Sept. 3, 2015. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Fentanyl increasingly found in drugs in Downtown Eastside: study

News comes after it was announced fentanyl was linked to 81% of fatal overdoses in B.C. last year

Researchers say opioid users in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside are increasingly testing positive for the potent painkiller fentanyl, which was linked to the majority of fatal overdoses in B.C. last year.

Dr. William Honer, head of UBC’s psychiatry department, was part of a study that followed 237 people living in marginalized housing in the neighbourhood between March and July last year.

READ MORE: Province announces $1.5 million in funding to combat overdose epidemic

READ MORE: Fentanyl-linked overdose deaths soar in B.C.

At the beginning of the study, he says urine samples from 45 per cent of people who reported using opioids tested positive for fentanyl, but five months later that number jumped to 100 per cent.

The BC Coroners Service released statistics Wednesday showing fentanyl was linked to 81 per cent of the 1,422 fatal overdoses across the province last year.

Honer’s research included 103 people who were in opioid-replacement programs, where they were prescribed methadone, suboxone or prescription heroin.

He says over the five months of the study, half of those involved in the replacement programs submitted urine samples that tested positive for fentanyl.

He says the results show there is a need for more comprehensive treatment that addresses mental illness and physical ailments as well as addiction.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

How much does your city spend per person on snow removal?

Black Press Media compares 2018 ice and snow removal budgets of various Lower Mainland communities

Stock trading allegations dismissed against former Langley spiritual leader

Investors allegedly lost $740,000 investing through a local religious organization.

Langley photographer captures otters amid the ice

While photographing winter on the river, a local photographer was there when otters caught a fish.

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Young curlers compete in Langley

Optimist Junior Curling Division features U18 players

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

Abbotsford man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read