image from Edmonton Journal

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Karen Grimsrud, and Acting Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Elizabeth Brooks-Lim are notifying the public that the toxic opioid carfentanil is still circulating in our province and has been linked to 15 drug overdose deaths.15 deaths occurred between September and the end of November.

Dr. Karen Grimsrud, Chief Medical Officer of Health said that “I am deeply concerned about the increasing number of deaths associated with carfentanil. It’s possible these individuals were not aware they were taking it. Albertans need to know that carfentanil is here – in Alberta cities and towns – and that it’s an extremely dangerous and deadly opioid. Even the smallest trace can be lethal.”

Dr. Elizabeth Brooks-Lim, Acting Chief Medical Examiner said that “The increasing number of deaths due to this dangerous drug is concerning to us, and we will continue to work closely with our health partners, as part of sharing information and raising awareness of opioids misuse. The Alberta Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is one of only a very small number of toxicology laboratories in Canada that is able to positively identify carfentanil in human blood.”