Nova Scotia Health tweeted on Thursday that a drug being sold near Sydney in Cape Breton is contaminated with fentanyl.
“Public Health received a report from a community partner that a substance being sold as methadone pills in the Glace Bay and New Waterford areas of Cape Breton was contaminated with fentanyl,” the tweet read.
The province said there have been several overdoses reported in the area, linked to the drug that tested positive for fentanyl.
The Canadian government describes fentanyl as a dangerous drug. “A few grains can be enough to kill you,” read the website.
“It is 20 to 40 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. This makes the risk of accidental overdose very high.”
The drug is often mixed in with other drugs, or “fake pills,” and Health Canada says dealers may not know that it’s there. “Fentanyl is cheap for drug dealers to make into a street drug, compared to other opioids, but it is more powerful.”
On Twitter, Nova Scotia advised residents to practice safe drug use and take steps necessary to reduce the risk of overdose.
“Don’t use alone if possible… If you have to use alone call or text a trusted support person and let them know you are using alone and provide them with your location,” said Public Health.
“Start with a test dose. Start low, go slow.”
The province also recommends having naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug, on hand even when not taking opioids intentionally.
Nova Scotia Health provides a free naloxone administration program and free take-home kits for those who may be, or know someone who may be, at risk of opioid overdose. More information is available here.