Carfentanil overdoses in Kelowna may be linked to West Kelowna drug bust
The dangers associated with drug use in Kelowna’s downtown core took a frightening twist on Tuesday when there were several overdoses in the controversial Cornerstone homeless shelter.
Edie, a homeless addict, was among those in Cornerstone when the overdoses were happening.
“I saw some of my close friends drop from a fentanyl overdose. So seven people dropped in an hour and it was scary,” she said on Wednesday.
Sgt. Greg Woodcox is in charge of the RCMP’s downtown patrol unit. He says a dealer has “dumped” a bunch of carfentanil into the Kelowna area in recent weeks.
“There was a large seizure of suspected carfetanil from a residence in West Kelowna,” said Woodcox. “We believe that lower-end drug traffickers were bringing that over to Kelowna and that’s why we’re seeing a rash of overdoses.”
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The carfentanyl crisis on Tuesday shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. Interior Health issued a warning late last week that the drug — 100 times more potent than fentanyl — was on the streets.
“We alerted many of our community stakeholders and people who use drugs to the possibility that they may be seeing carfentanil in their illicit drug supply,” Danielle Cameron from Interior Health said.
Sergeant Woodcox says addicts are well aware that carfetanil is on the streets of Kelowna and yet they roll the dice.
“Because if they don’t use something, they’re desperately sick for days on end. So they roll the dice and don’t care anymore. They’ve been chronic users for years, a lot of them are desperate and quite frankly don’t care anymore. They relay that to me,” Woodcox said.
And Edie is one of the desperate who does it to forget.
“I started doing it because I wanted to get more brain damage so I can forget my past and it worked. But now I can’t remember a good reason to stop.”
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