Monday, February 29, 2016

W18 appears in Canada - 100 times more potent than fentanyl

Calgary saw 272 fentanyl-related deaths in 2015. In August, city police seized 100 tablets of what they thought were fentanyl. When samples they sent to Health Canada for tests came back, cops learned three contained an even more potent compound known now as W-18.

It was the first appearance of W-18 in this country since its birth in an Edmonton lab more than 30 years ago.
In 1982 researchers at Edmonton’s University of Alberta were researching compounds with painkilling potential. In the end the project was shelved, and about 30 compound recipes sat dormant until the patents expired. This is exactly what Chinese chemists were seeking — a cheap high. This is how new synthetic drugs coming from China are born.

They did stimulants and amphetamines and ecstasy and now they have started to go into opiate-based drugs. Recently found and re-purposed by a Chinese chemist, W-18 showed up in Europe in 2013 and Sweden in 2014.

W-18 isn’t currently a controlled substance in Canada or the U.S.
Drug cops in the U.S. are now finding it in their raids. Because of W-18’s potency, it doesn’t take a lot of it to make a large number of pills and it’s hard to detect.

It carries with it a very high risk for overdose and is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine. “Whenever this drug starts circulating on the streets you’re going to have deaths,” chemist Brian Escamilla said.

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