Police in Durham Region are warning the public after the deadly opioid carfentanil was identified in drugs seized in Whitby, Ont. following an overdose earlier this year.
Durham Regional Police Const. George Tudos said Monday Health Canada’s Drug Analysis Service (DAS) confirmed the drugs contained the powerful opioid after a non-fatal overdose in the city in mid-February.
Police would not disclose what type of drug tested positive for carfentanil or whether the life-saving drug naloxone was used to resuscitate the overdose victim.
Toronto police identified carfentanil in street drugs seized in the city for the first time in December, a day after officials confirmed the deadly synthetic opioid had been found in Waterloo, Ont.
A spokeswoman for Health Canada said Monday since Jan. 1, the DAS identified carfentanil in nine samples submitted from Ontario law enforcement agencies.
Carfentanil is a powerful synthetic opioid that can be 100 times more toxic than fentanyl and 10,000 times more toxic than morphine and cannot be detected by sight, smell or taste, according to officials.
Just 20 micrograms of the drug, the equivalent of a single grain of salt, could potentially be fatal. Carfentanil is not intended for human consumption but is instead used by veterinarians to sedate large animals such as elephants.
The drug is not manufactured in controlled laboratory conditions, so it would be impossible for a drug user to determine if doses were fatal.
Police are encouraging members of the community provide tips on illegal opioid trafficking throughout Durham Region.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Durham Regional Police at (905) 579-1520 or Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at http://www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca.