The Regina Police Service is warning the public about an elevated risk to the community, particularly drug users, emergency responders and health professionals, after the confirmation of fentanyl and a mixture of fentanyl analogs, including carfentanil, in a quantity of drugs seized recently in Regina.
The powder seized and sent for testing came from a traffic stop and drug seizure in Regina on August 21, 2018. The analysis received confirmed the presence of a mixture of fentanyl – an opioid analgesic – and fentanyl analogs, specifically: carfentanil, furanfentanyl, methoxyacetylfentanyl, and cyclopropylfentanyl. These fentanyl analogs are often sold online as designer drugs. The sample seized also contained U-47700, which is described as a synthetic opioid. U-47700 is sometimes called “fake morphine”; however, it is actually more potent than morphine, which means usual dosage is likely to result in an overdose.
The presence of fentanyl and fentanyl analogs in this seizure underscores the need to warn the Regina public about the extreme dangers posed by consumption or exposure to these drugs. Fentanyl can be inhaled, ingested or absorbed. Fentanyl, even in tiny amounts, is enough to kill an adult. Carfentanil is approximately 100 times more potent than fentanyl and is not for human use. There is no easy way to know if carfentanil is mixed in with other drugs; you can’t see it, smell it or taste it.
The short-term effects of taking fentanyl can include: drowsiness, constipation, nausea/vomiting, headaches, dizziness, difficulty breathing, euphoria, itching and sweating. The signs of fentanyl (and other opioid drug) overdose include: weak breathing, drowsiness, cold/clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, collapse and coma. Anyone who observes someone displaying these symptoms should call 9-1-1 immediately.
Police, in conjunction with healthcare professionals, are urging people to pay attention to the dangers of illegal substance abuse.
– Drugs obtained from a friend, a dealer or an online source pose tremendous risks to the user. Drug dealers don’t care about quality control or safe dosage. There is no way for customers to know what they are getting.
– If you don’t take drugs, don’t start.
– If you are struggling with addiction, see a health professional.
– Parents: have these conversations with your children. Maintain a calm, two-way conversation. Try not to lecture, threaten or judge them. Discuss peer pressure and ways they can say no to drugs.
Police, emergency responders and health professionals are also at risk because they are the people assisting individuals showing signs of drug overdose and seizing evidence. For this reason, the Regina Police Service has developed improved safety procedures around handling of any unknown substance.
For more information on opioids, the side effects and the risks, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/substance-abuse/prescription-drug-abuse/opioids.html
As always, anyone who has information that could assist police in drug investigations is encouraged to contact their local police agency or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).