Carfentanil stamps found in Laval prompt warnings from public health
Police say blotting paper laced with drugs can be deadly if it comes into contact with skin
The director of public health and social services in Laval has issued a warning after police discovered carfentanil stamps in a home on its territory last month.
Carfentanil is a hundred times more potent then fentanyl and 10,000 times stronger than a dose of morphine.
It was found by Laval police in the form of blotting paper stamps which absorb the drug in a liquid form.
"This drug is very dangerous. All opioids can cause respiratory arrest," said Dr. Jean-Pierre Trépanier, director of public health. "A small dose of carfentanil is enough to kill someone."
Police discovered the stamps after a 59-year-old man was found in physical distress and a family member called 911 on Jan. 23. He died three days later in hospital.
They believe the stamps also contained LSD and were purchased through an online black market supplier.
Police say the drugs in the brightly coloured pieces of paper can be absorbed through the skin, putting anyone who comes into contact in danger.
"It's blotting paper that looks like collector stamps," said Évelyne Bourdeau with the Laval police.
"It's pieces of paper made for consumption that people put on their tongues, and what's particular about this product is that it's extremely strong. It's even dangerous if it touches skin."
Laval public health is asking frequent drug users especially to be careful and to contact 911 if they come across something similar.
A growing problem in Quebec
The presence of fentanyl and carfentanil is increasing in the province, as the crisis facing British Columbia has continued to move east.
- More than 1,420 people died of illicit-drug overdoses in B.C. in 2017, the 'most tragic year ever': coroner
Public health authorities in the Eastern Townships are now asking frontline medical workers to flag any and all drug overdose cases they encounter, in the wake of the death last September of a Cowansville man from a carfentanil overdose.
Montreal has also seen a spike of drug overdoses across starting this past summer, with Montreal Public Health officials issuing a call for action.
In order to prevent a full-blown crisis, the opioid antidote naloxone was available free of charge in pharmacies across the province.
With files from Radio-Canada's Normand Grondin