In the United States, the feeding frenzy that has greeted the "opiod epidemic" has been trumped in Canada by the seizure of 42kg of carfentanil in the basement of a house in a well-manicured Toronto neighborhood. Said one researcher, “Carfentanil is about 100 times more toxic than fentanyl and about 10,000 times more toxic than morphine.”
Lab tests eventually revealed 42kg of the substance to be carfentanil – a drug the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has described as “crazy dangerous” and which authorities in the US have flagged as as potential chemical weapon. The local police force had unwittingly stumbled across what is believed to be the largest volume of the opioid ever seized in North America....
Developed in the 1970s as a tranquilizer for large animals such as elephants and bears, the synthetic opioid has also been studied as a potential chemical weapon by countries including the US, China and Israel. It is thought to have been deployed with disastrous effects when Russian special forces attempted to rescue hundreds of hostages from a Moscow theatre in 2002.But it only burst into public view last year after officials across North America began to warn that it was being cut with heroin and other illicit drugs, leaving a rash of overdoses and deaths in its wake.
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