It's one of the most publicized illegal drugs in Canada, but how much do people really know about Fentanyl?
A lot more people from the Drumheller area are in the know after a special presentation Tuesday night at the Badlands Community Facility.
Biohazard expert Mike Wiebe told a large audience the drug is 80 to 100 times as powerful as Morphine, and the related Carfentanil is 100 times stronger again.
"The bad part is these drug producers are lacing meth, heroin, coaine, they're mixing it with these drugs," he noted. "People don't even know they're taking Fentanyl and that's why you're seeing so many deaths."
Close to 360 Albertans died from a Fentanyl overdose in 2016, an increase of 45 per cent over the previous year.
"You need approximately two to two and a half grains of salt (worth); that amount of Fentanyl will kill you," he warned. "On money, on agricultural food, on different other drug paraphernalia, anything. You get two grains of salt of Fentanyl on you and you absorb it or inhale it, it's going to kill you."
Most Fentanyl is sold in powdered form, either in capsules or pressed into pills, but there is also a liquid version, the fumes of which are toxic.
"You'll start to feel feverish, hot, your blood pressure will go down, but you blood pressure in your head will go up and you'll start to feel nauseous, kind of like having the flu," reported Wiebe.
Drumheller Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) is hosting two workshops on Wednesday, August 19 to talk about the Fentanyl antidote Naloxone and how to use it. The free seminars are scheduled from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. and from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the BCF.
Call April Harrison at 403-823-1315 so she knows how many people to expect.

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