Vancouver Police are warning all local drug users after a rash of overdoses in the last few days has resulted in multiple hospitalizations and several deaths. This warning follows other concerns over stolen Fentanyl patches and counterfeit Percocet’s, and is intended for seasoned and recreational drug users.

Between December 19th and 22nd, there were 17 non-fatal overdoses in Vancouver, most in the Downtown Eastside. Overnight and this morning, police have attended and are investigating three additional overdoses. All of them have resulted in death.

The three fatalities include a 24-year-old man in the downtown core, a 35-year-old man in East Vancouver, and a woman believed to be in her mid 20’s in the city’s Downtown Eastside. Various drugs from the scenes of the deaths have been seized and forwarded to Health Canada for analysis, but investigators expect to find Fentanyl in many of those samples.

Fentanyl is a synthetic narcotic that is 50-100 times more toxic than other opioids. The dose must be carefully monitored to avoid accidental overdose.

Early signs of a fentanyl overdose include severe sleepiness, slow heartbeat, trouble breathing or slow, shallow breathing or snoring, cold, clammy skin, and trouble with walking or talking. If any of these signs are observed in someone who is believed to have taken illicit drugs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Drug users are advised to never inject, snort, or swallow drugs alone, and to call 9-1-1 immediately if overdose symptoms start.

For more information on the dangers of fentanyl, visit