Authorities have suspected for some time that Fentanyl was being consumed as part of Waterloo Region’s drug scene – and now they have proof.

Waterloo Regional Police said Wednesday that they have obtained Fentanyl in a number of recent drug seizures.

As a result, they are warning the region’s drug users, including more casual ones, to be on the lookout for the painkiller.

“We’re not naïve to believe people will stop, but we think they need to be warned that Fentanyl may be mixed in with what they’re using,” said Staff Sgt. Shirley Hilton, the head of the Waterloo Regional Police drug branch.

Fentanyl is a powerful prescription painkiller, often prescribed to patients who have just undergone surgery.

When crushed into powder, it can be mixed with drugs like heroin and morphine – and, because of Fentanyl’s odorless and colourless properties, can be done so without it being obvious.

Hilton says Fentanyl is “100 times more powerful” than morphine, making it important for drug users to be aware that it could be mixed in with what they believe to be something less potent.

“A very small amount could cause an overdose,” she said.

In western provinces, Fentanyl has been linked to hundreds of deaths.