Connect with us

Find a Site


Fentanyl is a synthetic (man-made) opioid that is more toxic than most other opioids, and can be prescribed by a physician to help control severe pain. Fentanyl is also being produced in illegal labs and sold on the streets, often mixed with other drugs. Increasingly, fentanyl is being detected in overdose deaths in BC.

About Fentanyl

Why is fentanyl dangerous?

Fentanyl is around 20 to 40 times more toxic than heroin and 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine, which makes the risk of accidental overdose higher. When fentanyl is combined with other opioids (like heroin, morphine, methadone or codeine), alcohol, benzodiazepines, or cocaine or methamphetamines, it can further increase the risk of accidental overdose. Combining substances (including alcohol), intentionally or unintentionally, increases overdose risk.  It’s also important to be aware that drugs other than fentanyl can also be lethal, and that there is no quality control or regulated manufacturing process for illegal drugs.

Where is it coming from?

Illicit fentanyl is manufactured in clandestine overseas drug labs, both overseas and in Canada. It may be cut into powders or pressed into pills prior to being sold.

Where is it found?

Fentanyl is sometimes sold as fentanyl but other illegal drugs can also contain it, including heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, crack or meth. It may be in drugs that are in powder, liquid or pill form.

These drugs may contain toxic contaminants or have different levels of fentanyl in each batch. Even pills produced in the same batch may have little to lethal levels of fentanyl.

What can you do?

Be aware that drugs obtained from anywhere other than a pharmacy or a hospital may not be what you think they are, or what others believe them to be.

Learn how to  recognize and respond to a drug overdose.

See our tips for safer substance use.


  • Interior Health - Drug Alert - PentictonMay 29, 2023 • Posted by Interior Health

    ***Drug Alert - Penticton - May 29, 2023***

    Interior Health has issued a DRUG ALERT for Penticton as a sample of white crystals and powder sold as  Methamphetamine was found to contain Fentanyl. There is a extreme risk of overdose and very high risk of fatal overdose.  

    Click here for a printable versions of the poster. 

    No matter what or how you use (smoking, snorting, injecting) take steps to prevent overdose. 

    Please be aware of safer drug use tips that can help prevent overdose as well as where they can access naloxone, drug checking and other overdose prevention services in your community. 

    Consider these additional tips if you are going to use drugs:

    • Find drug checking locations at
    • Be aware that benzodiazepine induced sedation is not reversible by naloxone
    • Be aware of risks if mixing with other drugs, including alcohol
    • Use with others around or at an Overdose Prevention Site if available in your
      community (OPS)
    • Start with a small amount and space out your doses
    • Carry naloxone and know how to use it
    • Get the Lifeguard app - which can connect you with 911 emergency responders if you overdose. Download at the App Store or Google Play.   
    • Call 211 or visit to find services near you


Opioid Overdose Awareness

Opioid Overdose Awareness

Our web page features risks, signs and how to respond.