Five Things You Need to Know About Fentanyl to Stay Safe

Fentanyl has been a problem in Canada for several years now and the situation is not getting any better. It feels like every day brings a new report about an overdose, an arrest, or a large shipment seized on its way to a Canadian city. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid typically used to treat severe and chronic pain; for example, it is often prescribed for cancer patients. Understandably, digesting all the information from numerous news stories and constant buzz can be difficult, so here we are providing some quick facts about fentanyl in Canada.

(1) It’s Fast and Deadly

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine and 100 times stronger than heroin. It’s so potent that you can overdose on as little as two milligrams. When ingested, it can reach your brain within minutes and cause respiratory failure. Many of the reported deaths have happened this way: someone takes half a pill, falls asleep and never wakes up.

(2) It’s Highly Addictive

Just like any other opioid, fentanyl is extremely addictive. Many users report craving it after just one use. Also like other opioids, regular users build a tolerance: they need to use more and more to get the same high, which is very dangerous with such a toxic drug.

(3) It’s Often Cut into Other Drugs

Fentanyl has been found in many other drugs like heroin, cocaine, and oxycodone. Often, people who think they’re buying oxycodone will really be getting Fentanyl. It has no odour or taste, and it’s invisible, so using a testing kit is the only way you can tell if it’s in your drugs.

(4) A Lot of People Are Dying

Given that you can overdose on an amount the size of two grains of salt, it’s not surprising that people are dying. This is especially true because many people are consuming fentanyl unknowingly through other drugs that are laced with it. People who do consume it intentionally, usually consume non-pharmaceutical street fentanyl produced by an amateur chemist. This implies that impurities and toxicity can be even higher than pharmaceutical fentanyl. Also, dealers often combine it with caffeine, meth, or heroin which increase the probability of a negative reaction or overdose. Vancouver has the highest rate of deaths from overdose in Canada, most of which are likely from fentanyl and other similar opioids like carfentanil. So far, this year (as of the end of September, 2018) there have been over 260 deaths from suspected overdose in Vancouver.

(5) Whiterock Can Help You Detox, Stop Using, and Stay Safe

EHN Canada’s new treatment facility, Whiterock, is a state-of-the-art facility that is now open and serving BC with a wide range of drug addiction treatment options. Located only 40 minutes away from downtown Vancouver, Whiterock offers addiction treatment programs including detox, short-term residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient.

You can mitigate some of the risks of fentanyl overdose by testing your other drugs with a testing kit, and also by keeping a naloxone kit on hand and never doing drugs alone. Nevertheless, when your life is at stake, the probability of overdosing from fentanyl or laced street drugs will still be too large to ignore. The only way to be completely safe is to stop using fentanyl or street drugs.

Drug use can take over your life very quickly and puts you in constant danger. At Whiterock, we can help you regain control of your life and get you on track towards building a happy, meaningful, and stable life. We offer a detox service called “medically supervised withdrawal management” that helps you get off drugs quickly and comfortably. We do this by giving you medications that minimize withdrawal symptoms under supervision of medical doctor. 

Call Us for More Information

Whiterock’s phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If want to know more about our detox and treatment programs, or if you have questions about fentanyl, opioids, or any other drug problems, you can call us anytime at 1-888-767-3955.

Safety Resources

TestKitPlus Fentanyl Testing Kit
Bunk Police Fentanyl Testing Kit
DanceSafe Fentanyl Testing Kit
How to get a naloxone kit if you live in BC

We Can Help You

If you would like to learn more about the treatment programs provided by EHN Canada, enrol yourself in one of our programs, or refer someone else, please call us at one of the numbers below. Our phone lines are open 24/7—so you can call us anytime.

  • 1-866-926-4196 for Bellwood Health Services in Toronto, ON
  • 1-587-602-0266 for EHN Sandstone, in Calgary, AB
  • 1-866-946-4806 for Edgewood Treatment Centre in Nanaimo, BC
  • 1-866-627-8604 for EHN Whiterock, in Surrey, BC
  • 1-866-965-4345 for Clinique Nouveau Départ in Montreal, QC