Toronto police to issue public alert as deaths from overdose increase

Toronto police have issued a public safety alert after seven people fatally overdosed in parts of downtown Toronto in the last two weeks.

Police believe the increase in overdoses can be attributed to a deadly batch of fentanyl or carfentanil. Carfentanil is 100 times more potent than fentanyl.

Figures from Public Health Ontario show that there were 303 opioid-related fatalities in 2017 – 117 more than 2016.

Toronto Public Health also shows that fentanyl replaced heroin and morphine as the most commonly present opioid in overdose deaths, in 2016.