A very dangerous powder containing ocfentanil is circulating in Belgium
Monday, 06 April 2015
On Sunday, the Belgian network for dangerous drug alerts (BEWSD) warned of a powder containing ocfentanil, which is “particularly dangerous”. Ocfentanil is a chemical derivative of fentanyl, a very powerful painkiller. It is, for example, used during surgical operations or prescribed to patients in the terminal stages of cancer. Ocfentanil is an opiate, like heroin. The main risk with ocfentanil is that the active substance it contains is hundreds of times stronger than in other opiates, such as heroin. The risk of overdosing and dying is therefore extremely high, the BEWSD said in a press release.
Up to now, there has been only one recorded death due to this powder containing ocfentanil in Belgium. Emergency services, toxicology laboratories, police and prevention services have been informed by the BEWSD, and are on high alert. Abroad, the circulation of fentanyl and its derivatives, like ocfentanil, have already caused several deaths in the past. There are often multiple deaths caused by consuming this type of drug.
Buying and consuming illegal drugs is strictly prohibited in Belgium. Those taking them have to be careful. If they still want to take them whatever the cost, they are advised to start with much smaller a dose than they would normally take, according the Belgian network of dangerous drug alerts.