Highly toxic opioid found at scene of fatal overdose in Vancouver

By The Canadian Press
November 29, 2016 - 1:27pm

VANCOUVER — The B.C. Coroners Service says a highly toxic opioid has been found at the scene of a fatal drug overdose in Vancouver.

Officials say a drug sample was seized from an East Vancouver home where a 39-year-old man died on Nov. 17, and the sample has tested positive for carfentanil.

The manufactured drug is much more potent than the opioid fentanyl and is used commercially as general anaesthetic for large animals like elephants.

Last month, a nine-month-old boy in Manitoba was rushed to hospital after being exposed to carfentanil, which is so powerful that just a few grains can be fatal for adults.

The service says post-mortem testing for carfentanil will not be available in the province until next month, so it can't say whether the drug led to the man's death.

There were 622 illicit drug deaths in B.C. between January and October this year and fentanyl was involved in more than 60 per cent of those overdoses.

The Canadian Press

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