RCMP have issued a warning about high-potency drugs circulating in Surrey, B.C., saying police have responded to five suspected overdose deaths in seven days.
The statement says Mounties in the city east of Vancouver are aware of a mixture of the powerful opioid fentanyl and benzodiazepines, a class of depressant drugs.
B.C. health authorities say the mix carries a high risk of overdose, as benzodiazepines don't respond to the overdose-reversing drug naloxone.
Police say street doses of fentanyl can come in various forms, colours and textures.
They say it may be pressed into a pill form than can resemble a prescription drug.
The RCMP say the potency of fentanyl can vary significantly, even if it has been purchased from the same dealer and looks the same as previous doses.
Surrey is located in the Fraser Health Authority, which offers harm-reduction services including checking drugs for toxicity, the Mounties say.