More than 300 pills of fentanyl were removed from a north side Lethbridge home last Thursday – the second time in less than a week that a large amount of the deadly opiate has been seized in our city.
“I think it’s been coming a concern for the public . We have seen it across Southern Alberta on the Blood Tribe and other areas in the province and it’s a concern for us,” says Staff. Sgt. Rod Klassen with the Lethbridge Regional Police.
Members of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team, or ALERT, in Lethbridge executed a search warrant at a home in the 100 block of Bluefox Boulevard North as part of an extensive drug trafficking investigation.
Neighbors told Global News people were always coming and going at all hours of the night. Many residents say they feel violated that this kind of crime is happening in their neighborhood.
“We are out there every day trying to find these suppliers and mitigate the supply into Lethbridge,” adds Klassen.
The synthetic narcotic is 50 to 100 times more toxic than other drugs like morphine and is prescribed to those in severe pain.
“It’s a very strong pain reliever. It’s related to the codeine and morphines of the world, but it is a lot stronger. We use it in severe chronic pain after we have tried many other things for pain first. It’s the drug of last choice,” says Jaclyn Katelnikoff, pharmacist at Stafford Pharmacy in Lethbridge.
Illicit fentanyl has been showing up in liquid, powder and pill form and can be masked in virtually any consumable product.
“We don’t use it on anyone that has never taken something before because if you have never taken an opiate, a single dose of this could be very lethal or deadly. It suppresses your ability to breathe.”
Lethbridge police say it has been linked to a number of overdose deaths in Southern Alberta and across the province.