London

Police warn drug users after deadly opioid found in drug seizures

London police have issued a warning to drug users to take extra precautions after carfentanil was found in ten samples of drugs seized earlier this spring.

The discovery of carfentanil in drugs sent for analysis coincides with five suspected overdoses in six days

London police are concerned after the highly lethal drug carfentanil turned up in 10 samples of drugs seized this spring. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC)

London police have issued a warning to drug users to take extra precautions after carfentanil was found in ten samples of drugs seized earlier this spring. 

Carfentanil is a lethal drug normally used by veterinarians as a tranquilizer for very large animals. It's 100 times more toxic than fentanyl and 10,000 times more toxic than morphine, according to London police. 

The samples of a powdery substance were tested by Health Canada. They had been seized between March 20 and April 8.

In a six day period between March 30 and April 5 there were five overdose related deaths. 

Take precautions

"While we can't say for certain that carfentanil is the cause of these deaths, we need to make sure that those who use substances are aware this is on our streets and that they take the needed precautions," said London Police Chief, John Pare.

Police are urging drug users to make sure they don't use alone, that they have a naloxone kit nearby and they know the signs of an overdose. 

Naloxone kits can be obtained for free at the Middlesex-London Health Unit and local pharmacies. 

"Users should take into account that, although they may have developed a tolerance for fentanyl, the substance that they may be taking may actually contain carfentanil," said Const. Sandasha Bough. "Due to the fact that it has increased toxicity, that use may result in overdose and possibly death."

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