Overdose of carfentanyl: a first victim of the opioids in the eastern Townships

News 25 January, 2018
  • QMI agency

    Thursday, 25 January, 2018 22:00

    Thursday, 25 January, 2018 22:00

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    After wreaking havoc in major canadian cities, fentanyl, a opioid ultra-powerful, would have been a first victim in the eastern Townships.

    Austin Rutledge, age 25, of Cowansville [editor’s NOTE: this city of the region is included in the territory of the eastern Townships chapter of health], would have consumed the carfentanyl the September 23, 2017. This sedative is 10 000 times more devastating than morphine is also 100 times more potent than fentanyl.

    This possible drug overdose is of concern to the department of public health, which just trigger an epidemiological investigation.

    “The doctors, nurses and paramedics who will have seen patients in situation of overdose are obliged to report these cases,” said TVA’s New director of public Health of the Estrie, Dr. Mélissa Généreux.

    The Laboratory of pharmacology of opioids from the University of Sherbrooke is also interested in the use of prescribed drugs, such as fentanyl, for pain relief.

    “The carfentanyl is a substance that has been developed in the 1970s for use in veterinary for large animals,” said Louis Gendron, of the department of pharmacology of the University of Sherbrooke.

    The researcher recalls that the molecules of this sedative are absorbed very quickly by the body and only a small amount can lead to an overdose.

    Street workers are calling for more tools to better intervene.

    “We are still waiting for a date to be formed (…). It would be necessary to train first responders,” said Etienne Bélanger-Caron of the Coalition sherbrooke for the street work.

    The coroner’s Office has opened an investigation. In a reply sent by e-mail, it confirms the death of a young man of 25 years. He said that toxicology testing and an autopsy on the body of the victim has been claimed.

    The public Health of the eastern Townships held a meeting with stakeholders in the next few days.