By Kindersley RCMP, February 7, 2017
WHAT IS FENTANYL?
Fentanyl is a powerful prescription painkiller about 100 X more toxic than morphine. It is now being imported and sold illegally with tragic consequences.
Some fentanyl facts
– fentanyl has been mixed with other drugs such as heroin and cocaine
– it has been used in tablets made to look like prescription drugs
-overdoses have occurred where individuals were not aware they were consuming fentanyl
– it is odorless and tasteless, and therefore hard to detect
– it is often found in powder, pill, liquid and blotter form
– 2 milligrams of pure fentanyl (the size of about 4 grains of salt) is enough to kill the average adult
– unintentional exposure to pure fentanyl – touching or inhaling – can cause serious harm including death
– fentanyl-related deaths have been increasing in Canada
Overdose signs and symptoms
– severe sleepiness
– slow, shallow breathing
– lips and nails turn blue
– person is unresponsive
– gurgling sounds or snoring
– cold and clammy skin
– tiny pupils
We are often asked why a person would take any form of a drug knowing that there might be enough fentanyl in it to kill them. – DRUG DEALERS DO NOT TELL THEIR CLIENTS THAT THERE IS FENTANYL IN ANYTHING THEY ARE SELLING. They are using fentanyl as a “filler” so they can use less of the more expensive type of drug they are supposedly selling.
A drug user may have purchased a bunch of pills and may have taken several of them without any harm. Then one of the pills in the batch contains too much fentanyl and kills the user. HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN? One of our police officers explained that it is just like making a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Some cookies get lots of chips in them, and some don’t get as much. Fentanyl works the same way – it is not evenly distributed into the drug it is being mixed with.
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