In Canada, the British Columbia Funeral Association has just written to all its members with a warning – make sure you have plentiful stocks of the drug naloxone.
Naloxone is the only salvation for those who take a lethal dose of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, much more powerful than morphine, or its latest incarnation, carfentanil, which is 10,000 times stronger than morphine.
Minute quantities of these drugs, no bigger than a few salt grains, can be fatal to humans, but they are prescribed for severe pain, such as that experienced during some cancers.
The Funeral Association is concerned funeral operators may be at risk from handling the bodies – or their possessions – of those who have died from an overdose.
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