Another Opioid Causing Problems in Ontario

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Another potentially deadly opioid is making its way into Ontario.

The province's top medical officials say recent statistics suggest there is a spike in the number of deaths related to carfentanil.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health shared the information with local public health units in a letter last week, encouraging them to raise awareness of carfentanil in the drug supply in their regions.

Dr. David C. Williams says Ontario's Chief Coroner reports preliminary mortality data shows an increase in carfentanil-related deaths in the province for the first four months of this year.

His letter says carfentanil directly contributed to 142 deaths from Jan. 1 to April 29, which amounts to 50% more than the total number of such deaths in all of last year.

Williams also says there has been a "sharp'' rise in urine samples from LifeLabs that have tested positive for the drug — from up to 100 per month in 2017-2018 to more than 700 each in April and May of this year.

As AM800 News reported in May, OPP in Tecumseh seized what they believed to be pot, but later testing confirmed the presence of carfentanil.