Grande Prairie RCMP is warning drug users about a number of recent sudden deaths they believe may be linked to a party drug.
In the past month alone, police have seized more than 10,000 pills of fentanyl, which is typically known on the street as “greenies”, as they are often green or olive in colour.
Medical Toxicologist Doctor Mark Yarema notes that it can be hard to tell fentanyl from other drugs, but it is significantly more toxic.
“The classic story is that individuals are out at a party or out at a rave and there are some drugs that are passed around. Many of these drugs are sold or marketed as oxycodone, and so people don’t know what they’re getting in to.”
Fentanyl’s effect is similar to other opioids, but different doses of medications are needed to treat overdoses.
Users can lose consciousness and stop breathing, and Yarema says some of those who have died were unconscious for many hours before paramedics arrived.