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Opioid drug could be circulating Saint John: police

saint john police

The Saint John Police Force says carfentanil, an opioid drug meant to immobilize large animals, could be circulating in the community.

According to a police advisory issued Thursday, laboratory tests from two separate sudden deaths have confirmed the drug’s presence.

The deaths occurred in January and February, with a clinically toxic level of carfentanil detected in both cases.

Police say the Coroner’s office shared the information on Wednesday. The final causes of both deaths remain under investigation, along with a search for where the drug came from.

Carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl.

The drug isn’t meant for human consumption and cannot easily be detected by sight, smell, or taste. Officials say about 20 micrograms of the drug (the equivalent of a salt grain) can be enough to kill someone.

Similar advisories about carfentanil have been issued across Canada over the past several years, with the earliest reports first appearing in western Canada.

The drug was discovered in Toronto for the first time in 2016, with suspected overdoses later reported in New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Top Stories

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