2:30 a.m., March 1)
Public Health, OPS issue joint alert over fentanyl-laced
By Fred Sherwin
The Orléans Star
dominating the headlines in B.C. and especially Vancouver
for the past 12 months, fentanyl has finally arrived in
Ottawa, and with it the potential for drug overdoses and
even death for anyone who uses the highly lethal drug.
which is used in the production of counterfeit opioid
pills, has claimed more than 900 lives in Canada since
the beginning of 2016, including the recent deaths of
two Kanata teenagers.
Kotval, 15, died of an overdose on Valentines Day
after ingesting counterfeit Percocet pills laced with
Russell, 18, died of a similar overdose on Dec. 30. Although
police have not yet received her toxicology report, they
believe she was the victim of fentanyl laced counterfeit
pills as well.
two teenagers are the first fentanyl related death in
Ottawa. Police and public health officials fear there
will be many others in the weeks and months to come.
help limit the number of potential overdoses, Ottawa Public
Health and the
Ottawa Police Service have launched a public awareness
campaign in partnership with the local school boards.
joint alert on the potential risk of overdoses from counterfeit
prescription pills was issued by Ottawa Public Health
and the Ottawa Police Service on Feb. 13. In the alert
the two agencies warn that counterfeit prescription pills
may contain Fentanyl and that the drug significantly
increases the risk of overdose and is fatal
in very small amounts.
also recommend that parents with teenage children, and
teenage users of counterfeit prescription pills purchase
a naloxone kit from their local pharmacy.
is a medication that can temporarily reverse the effects
of an over- dose related to an opioid such as fentanyl,
heroin and morphine.
naloxone kits and training are available free of charge
from the Ottawa Public Health Needle & Syringe Program,
many local pharmacies, the Ottawa Hospital and other community
joint alert comes on the heels of a public awareness release
issued by the Overdose Prevention and Response Task Force
(OPRTF) in November in which Royal Ottawa Hospital president
and CEO George Weber tries to put the risks from Fentanyl
a massive issue of grave concern because many dont
even realize they are consuming this deadly drug.
said Weber. We are very pleased to be part of this
important campaign to help protect the most vulnerable
youth and adults who are counting on us.
can get more information about the dangers of counterfeit
presrcription drugs at StopOverdoseOttawa.ca.
website also provides information about Carfentanil, which
is an opioid used by veterinarians for very large animals
like elephants. It is approximately 100 times more toxic
than fentanyl and 10,000 times more toxic than morphine.
fentanyl, carfentanil is being used by illicit drug makers
as an additive in the production of counterfeit prescription
pills. The problem with both drugs is that you cant
see them, taste them or smell them.
2015, 48 Ottawa residents died from an unintentional drug
overdose: 29 of the deaths were due to opioids. Fentanyl
was involved in 14 of them.
to the 2015 Drug Use Among Ontario Students Survey con-ducted
by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 15 per
cent of the respondents in Grade 12 admitted to non-medicinal
use of prescription drugs, while 13 per cent said they
used prescription and non-prescription opioid painkillers.
For students in Grade 7 to Grade 12 the figure is 10 per
cent, or an estimated 95,000 students province-wide.
Public Health is encouraging parents to discuss the dangers
of non-prescription opioid use with their teenage children
and to stress the potential that counterfeit pills may
contain either fentanyl or carfentanil and even a small
dose may be fatal.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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