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Carfentanil is more dangerous than fentanyl. Fentanyl is more dangerous than heroin. All of these drugs are dangerous and can kill you. Heroin has been around for decades. It has ruined the lives of addicts and has torn families apart. Since 2013, a stronger opiate called fentanyl has plagued the streets of Vancouver and many other cities. Over the past 6 months in Vancouver, carfentanil has made an appearance. This is a state of emergency.

Why are carfentanil and fentanyl used by street drug suppliers?

Fentanyl and carfentanil are frequently mixed into street drugs because they are cheaper and more accessible to suppliers than other opiates like heroin and oxy. Reason being is they are synthetic opiates / man-made opiates. Synthetic opiates are easier to produce than sourcing opium from natural sources like the opium poppy.

How can someone overdose from man-made opiates like carfentanil and fentanyl?

Man-made opiates like carfentanil and fentanyl produce a high that is similar to heroin, oxys and morphine. Even though fentanyl is so strong, sometimes drug users will opt for it as their drug of choice due to convenience and price. Sometimes though suppliers contaminate drugs with these powerful opiates and users have no idea what they are really taking. They portion themselves their usual dose of their drug of choice and this is what makes the risk of fatal overdoses so high.

What kinds of street drugs contain carfentanil and fentanyl?

Improper mixing / dosing / testing has lead to hundreds of deaths from overdose. Since street drugs are not regulated, suppliers can put whatever they want in them. Street drugs are not safe. Common drugs that are laced with carfentanil and fentanyl include:

  • heroin
  • oxy / oxycontin
  • morphine
  • dilaudid

How easy is it to get carfentanil into Canada?

Due to the potency of carfentanil, only a tiny amount is needed for drug smugglers to get through Canadian Border Services. Since less of this deadly drug is needed in order for affects to be felt, it is more tempting to smuggle it than other opiates. We can expect to see it continue to be smuggled into Canada alongside fentanyl, heroin and other illegal drugs.

How dangerous is carfentanil and how strong of an opiate is it?

The fact is that any street drug, marketed as opiate or not, can contain whatever drugs or fillers suppliers want to add in. Even non-opiates can become contaminated with it. Here are some potency comparisons that clearly show how dangerous carfentanil is:

  • 100 times more potent than fentanyl
  • 4,000 times more potent than heroin
  • 10,000 times more potent than morphine

Less than a grain of salt is the lethal dose of carfentanil for a human.

Carfentanil is used to tranquilize elephants and other large wildlife. It is never used on humans in any medical setting due to how powerfully toxic it is.

Is there a counter agent for someone if they are having a carfentanil overdose?

Since this drug is so potent, counter agents  that work on fentanyl and heroin like NARCAN and Nalaxone are simply not strong enough to save someone from a carfentanil overdose. Increasingly, first responders are using multiple doses of these antidotes to save people. Sometimes overdoses are fatal, even with treatment. This is also true with heroin, fentanyl and other opiates. Opiates have similar opiate symptoms. For further reading view the fentanyl overdose symptoms page.

How widespread is the carfentanil problem?

Our city, Vancouver, (and surrounding areas) is in a state of crisis, and not just the Downtown East Side (DTES). There are more and more seizures and carfentanil related deaths across Canada and the USA. Here are a couple articles where you can get more information:

Carfentanil death toll is on the rise. Discover the chemical makeup of this powerful opiate.

Expect the rate of deaths to rise. More and more people are becoming addicted or are casually experimenting with these risky substances. Many of these people succumb to an early and tragic death. We need to stop this calamity. Understanding what carfentanil is, right down to the chemistry makeup is a necessary step in finding a solution to this growing problem. 

What kind of treatment options are there for carfentanil and other drug addictions? 

So many lives have been lost from carfentanil and other drugs. We are an alcohol and drug addiction treatment centre for women. Help us to stop this unnecessary loss of human lives. If you or someone you know is addicted to drugs, we can help. If you or someone you know is casually using street drugs, it is important to know the risks. Together we can stop the cycle of death and loss that confronts us today and plagues our streets and community. Whatever substance is being consumed, even alcohol, we have professional staff ready to help. Please contact us before it’s too late. 1-800-801-8354

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