Carfentanil found in Kingston: Public health unit
The dangerous synthetic opioid, carfentanil, has made its way to the Kingston, Ont., area, according to new data collected by Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health.
The health unit released a public warning on Friday addressing the dangerous drug and providing some additional information about what the opioid is.
“Carfentanil is not intended for human use, that is similar to fentanyl, but is 100 times more lethal. Depending on the purity of the drug, carfentanil can be more toxic than fentanyl and 100 times more toxic than morphine,” said KFL&A Public Health.
Dr. Alexa Caturay is a resident with the local public health unit and says carfentanil can be deadly in extremely small amounts.
“We have seen in other areas where carfentanil was detected in the drug supply and the number of overdose deaths increased,” said Carturay.
The public warning also touched on the types of illicit street drugs that carfentanil is usually found in, such as; cocaine, heroin, Percocets, and other drugs. One of the main issues that drug users face when taking illicit street drugs is that carfentanil is undetectable, according to KFL&A public health.
“You can’t see it, taste it, or smell it and it can be particularly toxic because people don’t know if they’re using it and small amounts can cause a great deal of harm,” said Caturay.
The public health unit is urging the community to not experiment with drugs, but if someone does choose to, there are six ways to prevent overdoses:
- Not use drugs alone.
- Not mix drugs together.
- Carry a naloxone kit.
- Use small amounts to test out the drug.
- Know the signs and symptoms of an overdose.
- Call 9-1-1 if you suspect an overdose.
Caturay says if you do encounter someone who may have overdosed on carfentanil they will show signs of sleepiness, shallow breath, fingers turning blue, and may be unresponsive.
KFL&A Public Health says it is committed to addressing the opioid crisis in the Kingston area with the help of community partners who are involved through surveillance, working to address root factors of addiction, community education, training and distribution of naloxone, and improving treatment for those struggling with mental health and addiction.