Sudbury

Remifentanil on Sudbury streets a 'public health emergency'

As Sudbury police search for thieves who stole a large amount of dangerous drugs from a doctor's office last week, a local addictions specialist said the presence of these drugs on the streets should be considered a “public health emergency."

Sudbury doctor advises people not go near the drug, as injecting it could mean instant death

Dozens of vials of powerful drugs were stolen recently from a Sudbury doctor's office. (CBC)

As Sudbury police search for thieves who stole a large amount of dangerous drugs from a doctor's office last week, a local addictions specialist said the presence of these drugs on the streets should be considered a "public health emergency"

Seventy vials of Remifentanil were stolen from a doctor's office on Notre Dame Avenue, along with 160 vials of Fentanyl, 78 vials of Versed and ten bottles of Morphine.

Dr. Mike Franklyn, an addictions specialist, said Remifentanil is an anesthetic that could kill someone as soon as they inject it.

No 'safe' amount of Remifentanil

"If Remifentanil is 100 times as stronger as fentanyl and fentanyl is 100 times as strong as morphine, that means it is 10,000 times as strong as morphine, so there really is no safe amount of these drugs," Franklyn said, adding that he isn't even licensed to dispense the medication.

"These are very scary drugs. I don't know what the street value would be of them, but I would encourage nobody to use them."

Back in 2009, when Oxycontin became a popular street drug, Sudbury pharmacies were regularly held-up at gun or knife point.

Garson pharmacist Carlo Berardi said no official security regulations were put in place, but many drugstores keep less in stock and rely more on next day delivery.

"It's incumbent on all practitioners to keep as low as possible and to tell your customer base that you don't carry these drugs."

Meantime, Sudbury police are telling the public not to carry or even touch these stolen drugs and to call 911 if they're found.

With files from Erik White. Edited/packaged by Casey Stranges

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