Pubdate: Sat, 25 Feb 2017
Source: Penticton Herald (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers
Author: Duane Zilm
Page: A11


Editor: I presented the following proposal to the government of B.C. 
last December. This proposal was, if acted upon, intended to expand our 
arsenal to fight the losing battle against deaths caused by the drugs 
fentanyl and carfentanil.

Each of these compounds are, by far, the most potent chemicals in the
class of drugs known as opiates.

Fentanyl is far more powerful than codeine, heroin, oxycontin,
morphine, etc.

Carfentanil is at least 100 times more powerful than fentanyl.

Opiates work by stimulating "opiate receptors" residing on nerve cells
in the brain. The part of the brain most richly endowed by opiate
receptors is the part of the brain that controls breathing. When
certain cells in the respiratory centre are stimulated, the brain
becomes insensitive to the presence of carbon dioxide. If there is a
build-up of carbon dioxide, the brain dies and the heart stops. The
heart stops and the patient dies.

Fentanyl and carfentanil kill by removing the will to breathe, leading
to the consequent build-up of carbon dioxide and brain death and
stopping of the heart. The tools in our arsenal include the drug
naloxone (narcan) which "kicks" opiates off the target receptors in
the brain and reverses the effect of the opiate drug.

The other tool is CPR, which keeps the patient breathing until the
opiate drug is metabolized by the body.

Another tool would be a compound that is sensitive to fentanyl and
carfentanil that can be soaked in indicator strips and can be exposed
to the street drug about to be consumed.

If the strip turns red, beware. The drug you are about to take
contains fentanyl or carfentanil and will kill you.

The government of B.C. has known about this since December. Nothing
has been done nor is being done. People are dying, in epidemic
numbers. The Ministry of Health is doing nothing.

Duane Zilm, Kelowna
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