Public health officials in Laval are warning the public about innocent-looking stamps laced with a potentially deadly drug. The stamps contain carfentanil, a more potent form of fentanyl, which itself is a very powerful pain medication.
Carfentanil is 100 times stronger than fentanyl and 1,000 times stronger than a dose of morphine.
The synthetic opioid had been placed on blotting paper, which is designed to be placed on the tongue in order to get high.
Health officials say the drug could also be absorbed through the skin.
Carfentanil is so powerful and so quick-acting that it can easily lead to unconsciousness and death because an individual stops breathing. Officials say users may also not realize what they are taking and may think they are using something else.
“We want to let people know that this exists, that if you are in the entourage of somebody that uses drugs it can be dangerous just by touching the different types of drugs that this person may use,” said Evelyne Boudreau of the Laval police department.
“People must know about it. The consumers must also know that maybe if they think they’re buying LSD it may not be the case.”
Last month, two people, considered casual drug users, died after using cocaine laced with fentanyl.
This appears to be the first time fentanyl has appeared on paper blotters in the Montreal area – though it is not a first in Canada. Last year, Winnipeg police seized six blotters laced with carfentanil that may have been designed to look like children’s tattoos.
“It is not for human use, it’s like morphine but for elephants,” said Boudreau.
The drug-laced blotting paper was found in the home of a 59-year-old Laval man who was unconscious, which prompted a resident to call 9-1-1.
Other pain medications were found in the home, and police suspect they were purchased online.
The stamps found in Laval portray a man riding a bicycle on a green and red background.
Anyone who spots them should not pick them up: they’re being urged to call 9-1-1.
People can also call Laval police at 450-662-4636 (INFO) or leave an anonymous tip at Info Crime.