Carfentanil, a dangerous choice **Update**

Date Posted:
November 8th, 2016

**Confirmed Carfentanil in St. Thomas**

After Officers responding to the the multiple overdoses within the City, the suspected narcotic was seized and sent away to Health Canada for analysis.  In one of the cases where the victim survived as a result of our EMS attendants, it was confirmed that it contained  Carfentanil.  We want to remind our First Reponders to be vigilant when attending possible overdose calls for service.  Carfentanil is 100 times more potent than the fentanyl patch, it cannot be detected by taste, smell, or sight. We also want to issue a warning to those that participate in this type of activity – You never really know what your taking.  Is it worth your life?

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The St. Thomas Police Service is issuing a public warning about the dangers of the prescription drug Fentanyl and the synthetic drug Carfentanil. The use of this drug outside of prescribed methods can be extremely dangerous and even fatal.

Since October 28th, 2016 St. Thomas Police and EMS have responded to three overdoses where Fentanyl, or a more toxic variant know as Carfentanil, was suspected but not yet confirmed to be used. In two of these cases the persons involved survived due to the quick actions of paramedics. Unfortunately, a third person has passed away.

Communities across Ontario are increasingly reporting the presence of ‘bootleg’ fentanyls in local illicit drug markets in both pill and powder formulations. Bootleg fentanyls are high-dose, illicit opioids much more toxic than morphine, produced and distributed by the black market and distinct from produced fentanyl patches.

Fentanyl is a strong opioid that doctors prescribe to help patients manage chronic pain. It’s estimated to be 80 times as powerful as morphine and hundreds of times more powerful than heroin. It’s also found its way onto the streets across Canada laced with other drugs like cocaine and Heroin.

The variability of the dose of this substance from one tablet or powder to the next can be extreme. This greatly increases the risk of overdose, it isn’t simply the potency or toxicity of it. Carfentanil and other fentanyl-related substances can work very quickly, so in cases of suspected exposure, it is important to call EMS immediately. Naloxone is an antidote to overdose for fentanyl and is available free of charge to those who use substances, their friends and their family from several local pharmacies.

The St. Thomas Police encourage anyone who no longer requires this medication, or any other prescribed medication, to turn them into a pharmacy for destruction.  Anyone with information on the illegal possession of prescription medication including  Fentanyl  is asked to call local police agencies or crime stoppers.

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Photo via CBSA’s Twitter

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