The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said working with UN authorities and China to counter the influx of dangerous synthetic analgesic fentanyl the country, but according to one expert, cases of overdose associated with the drug could continue to climb .
Those responsible for public health in Canada are urging the different authorities to work together to tackle the proliferation of this drug on the streets of the country, which is linked to the deaths of at least 655 people. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse fight against indicated that the use of this drug was the cause or one of the causes contributing to these deaths occurred between 2009 and 2014.
Fentanyl, which is in high demand among drug users, is a white powder, easily forged and that can be difficult to uncover, as Corporal Luc Chicoine, national coordinator of the fight against drugs to the RCMP.
Drugs entering the country illegally in several ways. It can be concealed in shaving kits of some passengers in aircraft, in the mail, or it can be placed by criminal organizations in commercial containers.
The police have not yet succeeded in identifying the precise origin of fentanyl, but they work with China, some pharmaceutical manufacturers could be suppliers of several criminal groups. Mr. Chinoine ensures that the cooperation of Chinese authorities has improved recently.
The assessment of drug-related deaths increased and could worsen further in the near future, according to Corporal Chicoine, who wishes to raise awareness and to linger and “long-term measures.”
Sixteen people have died of a drug overdose just last Sunday in Vancouver – including six in one hour, which would have used heroin mixed with fentanyl, authorities said. Since July 20, the substance has been linked to the deaths of four people in Greater Vancouver.
“We need so little of fentanyl that trace the chemical signature would be extremely difficult. I do not even know if we have the technology (to do), “said Mr. Chinoine.
Approximately 100 grams of fentanyl may be mixed with other ingredients to produce a kilogram of drugs for sale on the street, while a few granules of the substance – the size of a grain of salt – can be toxic.
Fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than morphine and according to experts, it is in a class of its own compared to all other circulating counterfeit narcotics in the past, such as ecstasy.
The office of the Deputy Chief Administrator of Public Health, Dr. Bonnie Henry, called a “coordinated national strategy” including better assess the evolution of overdoses in the country.
“We do not all use the same data, we are not all the same things and we do not monitor consider the situation in the same way,” she lamented Tuesday.