Nova Scotia reports its first suspected carfentanil-related overdose

The Office of the Medical Examiner has confirmed the presence of carfentanil in a probable opioid overdose death in the Halifax Regional Municipality in early March.

This is the first suspected carfentanil-related overdose in the province, though the exact cause and manner of death have not yet been determined.

Carfentanil is an opioid that is substantially more potent than fentanyl.

Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, says, "While this is the first time we've seen evidence of carfentanil consumption in Nova Scotia, it is not entirely unexpected."

He says this is a good time to remind Nova Scotians of the risks associated with the use of street drugs, and to always carry naloxone.

Government says to always call 911 in the event of an overdose emergency, adding that Good Samaritan laws protect bystanders from criminal prosecution when calling for help in this situation.