02/06/2016 08:50 EST | Updated 02/06/2017 05:12 EST

Vancouver Fentanyl Suspected In Spike Of Overdose Deaths: Police

ullstein bild via Getty Images
(GERMANY OUT) Rauschgift / Drogen: Der Begriff Designer-Droge wurde erstmals 1984 für die Fentanyle verwendet. Diese Opiate wirken ähnlich wie Heroin, nur stärker: Schon ein einziger Schuß macht süchtig. Ausgangsstoff ist das Narkosemittel Fentanyl; inzwischen sind etwa 30 Varianten dieser Substanz auf dem Markt. Designerdroge; synthetische Droge (Photo by Rauhe/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Vancouver police are warning drug users to be cautious after 11 overdose deaths in 16 days.

Police say the spike is concerning because three people typically die each week from drug overdoses.

The high number of recent deaths occurred in the Downtown Eastside and east Vancouver neighbourhoods, and police believe fentanyl use may be the cause.

Police say the victims ranged in age from 20 to 56 and that not all of them were known or experienced drug users.

Early signs of fentanyl overdose include severe sleepiness, slow heartbeat, trouble breathing, cold, clammy skin, and trouble walking or talking.

The Take Home Naloxone program in B.C. provides training and kits at various clinics and emergency departments so people can take the drug also known as narcan to reverse symptoms of an overdose.

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Fentanyl In Metro Vancouver