Health Communique: Fentanyl in First Nations Communities

From the First Nations Health Authority website:

Aug 20, 2015


In the wake of a number of reported overdoses, First Nations Health Authority Chief Medical Officer Dr. Evan Adams is warning First Nations about the dangers of fentanyl. "Fentanyl is impossible to detect, it is odourless, colourless, tasteless and deadly. Fentanyl related deaths are on the rise and as First Nations we are not immune."

Fentanyl is a synthetic narcotic that is 50-100 times more powerful​ than other opioids. The drug is primarily used to boost the potency of other drugs. Often fentanyl is found in powder sold as heroin, and in counterfeit oxycontin pills. Fentanyl might also be mixed into other recreational drugs, including stimulants (uppers) such as cocaine and MDMA (Ecstasy), and even marijuana.

The BC Coroners Service confirmed 54 drug overdose deaths in which fentanyl was detected in the five-month period from Jan. 1, 2015, through May 31, 2015. In addition, there have been at least 12 deaths in which fentanyl was detected within the last month (July 7 through Aug. 7, 2015), almost all of them occurring in the Lower Mainland.

For further information, visit the First Nations Health Authority website at the following link:


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