Province of Canada declared an emergency fentanyl overdose public health

Apr 15, 2016 | | Say something

Province of Canada declared an emergency fentanyl overdose public health ;

An increase in the number of deaths from overdose of fentanyl in the province of British Columbia Western Canada has led authorities to declare a public health emergency.

“The recent increase in overdose is a major concern for us,” said Health Minister of British Columbia, Terry Lake, who declared the emergency on Thursday.

The powerful painkiller was found to be responsible in 64 of 201 wrongful death drug overdose on the Pacific coast in the province of the first three months of 2016, he said.

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The proportion of overdose deaths in which fentanyl was detected has increased steadily from five percent in 2012 to about 31 percent last year and held for the first three months of 2016.

Lake warned that without immediate action taken to stem this tide, the total of British Columbia overdose deaths could rise to a record 600 to 800 this year from 474 in 2015.

Fentanyl, which is up to 50 times more potent than heroin and up to 100 times more potent than morphine, is a synthetic opioids usually prescribed for patients with advanced cancer pain.

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However, drugs we found increasingly streets, to be mixed with it. A similar opioid crises have been reported in other parts of Canada and in the neighboring United States.

In Sacramento, California researchers said they believe a version of the drug was produced in China and smuggled into the United States through Mexico.

In order to address the problem in Canada, Lake said health officials need real-time information on overdose of fentanyl linked in order to better disclosure of fate, bad warnings drugs, awareness campaigns and distribution naloxone-that blocks opioid receptors in the nervous system and is used to treat opioid overdose.

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Hundreds of firefighters and pharmacists British Columbia, as well as opiate users and their families and friends have so far been trained to use naloxone.

Lago said the program quickly expanded.

This article was originally published on medicalxpress, Read the original article

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