The holidays have prompted an unusual warning from Surrey RCMP for parents to keep an eye out for their loved ones who may take illegal drugs.
Police and health officials have recently responded to several accidental overdoses — many of which are suspected to be related to fentanyl.
RCMP Corp. Scotty Schumann says illicit drug users usually have no idea what they’re taking.
“Because its so powerful, it can be a real health risk — even prove fatal to some people that are taking it in.”
Schumann advises people to educate one another and have a sober buddy nearby to call for help.
“If they can be around those people when they’re using drugs and be familiar with the signs of somebody who is starting to overdose.”
Fentanyl is cheap, incredibly potent, and highly profitable for dealers.
The lethal nature of the powerful opioid isn’t lost on Mark Bodie.
His 17-year-old son, Jack, died in August of an overdose, and this will be the family’s first Christmas without him.
Mark says it won’t be a normal Christmas.
“We were prepared for this through the counselling we’ve done and others who have shared their grief with us because of the loss of a loved one. We do understand that Christmas, and birthdays, and holidays… those sort of times are going to be tough.”
Bodie agrees with the police: parents who suspect their children of using illicit drugs should sit down for a talk before it’s too late.