British Columbia Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall has expressed his concern over the confirmation that among the 1,766 urine tests conducted over a two-week period last month at several drug treatment facilities in different areas in Canada such as in Vancouver, New Westminster, Surrey Richmond and Maple Ridge, 57 were positive with carfentanil.
Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid that is primarily used as a sedative for large animals. Just a few grains of this substance can be fatal to humans. Carfentanil is said to be 100 times more potent than fentanyl, 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 4,000 times more potent than heroin.
The drug has penetrated the street drug scene in Metro Vancouver. This is a clear sign that drug supply has tremendously increased. Weekly reports to the provincial health ministry and the B.C. Center for Disease Control were submitted by LifeLabs, as reported in a news article.
Authorities believe that it must have started its widespread trading in November 2016 when the number of overdose deaths began to increase although authorities were then unsure of the possible cause of the deaths. There were about 914 people reported who died of illicit drug in B.C. last year.