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Federal government proposes restricting fentanyl chemicals

Health Canada is cracking down on the chemicals used to make the drug fentanyl. The six chemicals were previously unregulated, but are now proposed to be illegal under the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine that is usually prescribed as a patch to treat chronic pain. However, authorities are now seeing it be cut into street drugs to make them more potent. As little as two milligrams can cause overdose and death.

There were 274 deaths associated to fentanyl in Alberta in 2015, and there were 153 apparent overdoses from the drug in the first six months of 2016.

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