Caption: Opioid deaths in Canada during 2017
Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

Global News reported that fentanyl continues to kill Canadians in record numbers. While authorities there are targeting fentanyl mailed into the country from China, a new trend of fentanyl being smuggled into the country by a vehicle in the eastern provinces has worsened the crisis.

Here are a few important stories from Canada’s battle against fentanyl over the past few months:

  • The Vancouver Sun reported in May about the 16-year prison sentence handed down to Andrew Leach, who sold more than 50,000 counterfeit fentanyl pill in one year.
  • Saskatoon Police seized 4,400 fentanyl pills during a bust in June.
  • In August, CBC News ran an article about a raid that netted hundreds of fentanyl pills.
  • In the same month, The Hamilton Spectator noted that police in Ottawa want the laws changed to allow for closer inspections of anyone importing a pill press. Earlier this year, legislation was introduced in British Columbia to limit who could own a pill press.

Nearly 4,000 Canadians deaths involved opioids in 2017. 68 percent involved fentanyl or one of its many analogues, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. In 2016, Canada had a total of 2,978 deaths from opioids with only 50 percent involving fentanyl or a fentanyl analogue. The fentanyl crisis has touched every province and territory in Canada.  

It is more important than ever for Americans to remember that only FDA-approved pills purchased from U.S. licensed pharmacies are safe.