11/24/2017 04:32 EST | Updated 11/24/2017 05:41 EST

Public health officials warning of powerful new opioid now in New Brunswick

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's acting chief medical officer of health is warning the public about a deadly drug that's far more powerful than fentanyl.

Dr. Jennifer Russell says the emergence of carfentanil in New Brunswick's illegal drug market is a major concern.

She says a toxicology report revealed carfentanil was found in the system of an individual who died recently in southern New Brunswick.

Russell says carfentanil is a synthetic opioid about 100 times more powerful than fentanyl.

She says what makes it so dangerous is that people don't know it's being included in other street drugs.

Russell says New Brunswick had 25 deaths due to drugs between Jan. 1 and June 30 of this year, and of those, 17 were related to opioids.