The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service would like to advise the public about the dangers of the synthetic opioid, Fentanyl. The use of this drug outside of prescribed methods can be extremely dangerous and even fatal.
Across Ontario there has been a steady increase in the number of fatalities due to Fentanyl toxicity. Between 2010 and 2015, eleven deaths in Sault Ste. Marie have been attributed to Fentanyl Toxicity.
Fentanyl is a strong opioid that doctors prescribe to help patients manage chronic pain. It is estimated to be 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 10 times more powerful than heroin. Communities are increasingly reporting the presence of bootleg Fentanyl in local illicit drug markets in pill, powder and liquid formulations.
Often bootleg pure Fentanyl is mixed with other cutting agents. This process does not evenly disperse the Fentanyl throughout the finished product (either pill or powder form). This process leaves the drug user with no way of knowing the concentration of the dose that they are consuming, thus increasing the risk of succumbing to an overdose.
Fentanyl and its analogues (i.e. Carfentanil) can work very quickly, so in cases of suspected exposure, it is important to call Emergency Medical Services immediately. Naloxone, an antidote for opioid overdose, is available in limited quantities free of charge at local pharmacies. Members of the public who feel that they may benefit from Naloxone are encouraged to contact their pharmacy to see if it is available.