Canada: Nine dead of fentanyl opioid abuse in Vancouver

Overdose on drugs has led to loss of 2,000 lives in 2015, with the count expected to increase in 2016.? Photograph:( AFP )

WION Vancouver, BC, Canada Dec 16, 2016, 10.53 PM (IST)

Nine died of fentanyl opioid abuse in Canada in just 24 hours, Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson said on Friday. 

"It's desperate times in Vancouver and it's hard to see any silver lining right now when we haven't hit rock bottom," Robertson said. 

"Can you imagine nine people dying from another cause in one day in our city?" Police chief Adam Palmer said.

Although drug consumption rooms are set up to reduce harm, more such services are needed to combat rampant drug abuse. 

Overdose on drugs has led to loss of 2,000 lives in 2015, with the count expected to increase in 2016. 

According to chief Palmer, the average overdoses in a month is 15 with police investigating 160 fatalities. 

The city council approved a 0.5 per cent property tax increase this week to fight fentanyl overdose. 

The funds will help emergency workers, shelters and outreach centers. 

(WION with inputs from AFP)