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Drug users warned after carfentanil, benzodiazepine found in Winnipeg fentanyl seizure

Winnipeg police are warning the public after they say an analysis found carfentanil and benzodiazepine in a recent seizure of fentanyl. File / Global News

Police in Winnipeg are warning city drug users after a more powerful opiate and a tranquillizer were found mixed in with a recent fentanyl seizure.

In a release Friday, police said carfentanil and benzodiazepine were both found when investigators analyzed more than 500 grams of fentanyl seized during a raid of a McDermot Avenue home Monday.

Read more: Loaded shotgun, fentanyl found in Winnipeg drug raid, police say

Carfentanil is an opioid drug estimated by police to be roughly 100 times more potent than fentanyl. The drug was linked to two overdose deaths in Saint John, N.B., in April.

Benzodiazepine, also known as “benzos,” is a tranquillizer commonly prescribed by doctors as an anti-anxiety medication. Police warn the presence of benzodiazepine can be especially dangerous because it does not respond to naloxone — a drug used to reverse the effects of overdoses.

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Click to play video: 'Deadly drug carfentanil in Winnipeg, police say' Deadly drug carfentanil in Winnipeg, police say
Deadly drug carfentanil in Winnipeg, police say – Sep 29, 2016

“If someone overdoses from taking benzodiazepine, it is much harder to reverse the effects — and the risks are even more significant when the benzodiazepine is mixed with opioids,” police said in a statement.

“The Winnipeg Police Service wishes to remind those who illicitly use drugs that what they are taking may contain dangerous substances such as unsafe cutting agents or other narcotics.

“These substances may sometimes lead to severe harm or death.”

Read more: Winnipeg police find $35K in fentanyl after pulling vehicle over for driving without headlights on

In all, police say officers found 518 grams of the laced fentanyl — worth an estimated $230,356 on the street — along with $26,760 in cash, during Monday’s raid.

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A 37-year-old man from Winnipeg is facing drug trafficking charges in connection with the seizure.

He remains in police custody.

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