Dr. Jennifer Russell has said she is seriously concerned about the appearance of this opioid 100 times more potent than fentanyl on the black market in the province.
A toxicology report compiled following the death of an individual in southern New Brunswick revealed the presence of carfentanil in his system.
For reasons of confidentiality and not to interfere with the ongoing investigation, Dr. Russell was unable to specify the location and circumstances of the death.
At a press conference in Fredericton, the interim Chief Medical Officer of Health spoke out across the province to warn all New Brunswickers about the new substance, especially vulnerable and high-risk groups.
According to Dr. Russell, it only takes the equivalent of a grain of carfentanil salt or two milligrams of powder for the drug to be fatal if inhaled, ingested or even absorbed through the skin. .
The drug may have been mixed up with another substance, making it impossible to detect without a lab test.
This is what makes carfentanil so dangerous, because narcotics users cannot know if it has been added to another drug sold on the street.
Learn from experiences elsewhere
Dr. Jennifer Russell said New Brunswick has learned from experiences across the country to fight the opioid scourge.
The province is particularly inspired by British Columbia, which declared a state of emergency in 2016 due to the high number of cases of fentanyl overdoses.
New Brunswick recorded 25 drug-related deaths between January 1 and June 30, 2017. According to Dr. Russell, 17 of these deaths are related to opioids.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police maintains that the fight against trafficking in fentanyl and carfentanil remains at the top of its priorities.
Last October, police in southern Ontario seized 42 kilograms of carfentanil, the largest seizure of its kind in Canada.