An alert has been issued for Coquitlam opioid users of an illicit drug recently found to be circulating around the city.
According to health officials, "high levels" of carfentanil were detected in white chunky substances.
Fraser Health issued the public alert after 4 p.m. on Tuesday (Jan. 4). Details of how and where exactly the toxic drug was found are still unknown, as of this publication (Jan. 5).
The Tri-City News will update this story with more information as it becomes available.
Toward the Heart, B.C.'s supplier for harm reduction needs, said tests came back positive for traces of carfentanil in a product called "DOWN."
Fraser Health adds there's an increased risk of overdose for opioid users who unknowingly inject or inhale the potent drug, which has a similar look to table salt.
Carfentanil is normally used as a sedative for large animals, the B.C. government's website reads, and can be fatal for humans as it's said to be 100 times more toxic than fentanyl.
Fraser Health authority staff are encouraging Coquitlam users to get their drugs tested for carfentanil while the alert is in place.
Access Youth Outreach Services has a mobile van through its Project Reach Out program that uses test strips to detect fentanyl and other contaminants to reduce the risk of overdose.
For more information, you can call the local non-profit at 604-525-1888.
Test strips are also available at the Tri-Cities Public Health Unit in Port Moody (200-205 Newport Dr.).
If you believe you're witnessing an overdose, Fraser Health encourages the public to call 911 and stay with the individual, give one breath every five seconds and, if on hand, administer naloxone while waiting for first responders.