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First trace of “highly toxic opoid” carfentanil found in B.C. overdose death

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VICTORIA, B.C. – With the struggle ongoing to contain the opioid crisis in B.C., another extremely dangerous drug has made a way into the province.

The B.C. Coroners Service said today that traces of carfentanil were found at a illicit drug death in Vancouver on November 17, 2016.

A drug sample was sent to a federal Health Canada laboratory for testing. The sample has been confirmed as containing carfentanil.

The Coroners Service says that they can’t say for sure as of now if the drug was the reason for the death.

“Testing cannot currently confirm whether carfentanil was the cause of death for this individual, a male in his 30’s. However, the ability to undertake post mortem testing for carfentanil is expected to be available at the Provincial Toxicology Centre next month.”

According to the Coroners Service, “Carfentanil is an analogue of the synthetic opioid fentanyl and is known to be the most toxic opioid used commercially. Its commercial use is as a general anesthetic agent for large animals, up to elephants, and it is never to be prescribed to humans.”

Also last week Vancouver police confirmed that carfentanil had been found in a sample of drugs seized in an enforcement action that did not have any deaths.

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