The Peterborough Police Service has issued a warning after receiving confirmation that a substance seized during a recent traffic stop was carfentanil—a drug that is *10,000 times* more potent than morphine.
On October 24th at approximately 10:30 p.m., officers conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of Parkhill Road West and Monaghan Road. As a result of the traffic stop, marijuana was located inside the vehicle along with a dark powdered substance.
That unknown substance was submitted to Health Canada for testing. Results received from Health Canada on the evening of December 20th have confirmed that the substance was carfentanil—marking the first confirmed carfentanil seizure in the City of Peterborough.
Examples of the small amount of drugs that can potentially be fatal.
To give you an idea of how potent this drug is, carfentanil is commonly used by veterinarians as a tranquilizer for larger animals such as elephants. The amount of carfentanil seized during the October traffic stop was .7 grams.
“Exposure to a very small amount of this drug, about the size of a grain of salt or 20 micrograms, could be fatal though inhalation and ingestion," says Peterborough Police Deputy Chief Tim Farquharson. "There is also concern due to the fact that it can be absorbed through the skin."
The substance next to the image of the coin is carfentanil.
“We are warning recreational drug users that this potentially fatal drug is now in our City," adds Deputy Chief Farquharson. "Fentanyl is an additive or cutting agent in virtually all street drugs. The potential for carfentanil to also be present in common street drugs is very much a real threat."
“We are not surprised that this drug is now in our community given the opiod crisis sweeping across Canada and is a reminder that every community is susceptible. Police services are working collaboratively and with a multi-disciplinary approach to deal with the many challenges that the opiod crisis is presenting.”
The Peterborough Police Service has notified its partners of the results, including Peterborough Public Health and the Peterborough Drug Strategy.