Loading articles...

Health Canada moves to restrict chemicals used to make fentanyl

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo, shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. More than 28,000 Americans died from overdosing on opiates in 2014, a record high for the nation. That's 78 people per day, a number that doesn't include the millions of family members, first responders and even taxpayers who feel the ripple of drug addiction in their daily lives. A rise in prescription painkillers is partially to blame: The sale of these drugs has quadrupled since 1999, and so has the number of Americans dying from an addiction to them. When prescriptions run out, people find themselves turning to the cheaper alternative heroin and, increasingly, the even more deadly drug fentanyl. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

OTTAWA (NEWS1130) – The Canadian government is moving to control six chemicals used to make the deadly opioid fentanyl in an effort to contain the growing overdose death toll.

Health Canada announced Wednesday that the new regulations will take place immediately because of the urgency of the fentanyl crisis, resulting in hundreds of fatalities across the country this year.

Health Minister Jane Philpott says regulating some of the precursors used to make the synthetic drug is among a range of steps the government is taking.

Philpott says its actions will also help police intervene in the movement of the chemicals used to make the illicit substance.

RCMP announced last week that it had reached an agreement with China to try to stop the flow of fentanyl into Canada.

British Columbia declared a public health emergency in April but the death toll keeps rising, with 622 fatalities counted between January and October, about 60 per cent of them involving fentanyl.