Carfentanil, a synthetic opioid so deadly police say as little as 20 micrograms would be fatal to the average person, is now spreading across Canadian suburbs and cities.
Carfentanil is most commonly used in zoos as a tranquilizer for elephants and other large animals.
In many cases of overdose, the carfentanil has been mixed into heroin or differing variations of party drugs, most times without the drug user’s knowledge. Police say carfentanil is likely manufactured in China and shipped to drug traffickers in Mexico. From there, it enters the U.S. and, eventually, Canada.
In June, officials intercepted a package in Vancouver bound for Calgary containing a kilogram of carfentanil. A second seizure occurred in Richmond Hill, Ontario, with a third seizure occurring in Whitby following a fatal overdose. Most recently the drug has been found in the town of Guelph furthering the argument that the drug is rapidly spreading across suburbs just as fast as it enters urban hubs.