Pubdate: Mon, 08 Jan 2018
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2018 The London Free Press
Author: Hank Daniszewski
Page: A3


London police are warning the public that cocaine seized in November
contained the deadly opioid fentanyl.

Health Canada tests confirmed the presence of fentanyl - an opioid 100
times more powerful than morphine - in drugs found on a 33-year-old
London man after he was arrested.

"This is the first time in London that both cocaine and fentanyl were
discovered in the same sample," police said in a news release Sunday.

"It is not confirmed if the drugs were intentionally or inadvertently

The man, whose case is before the courts, had crack cocaine and
fentanyl, police said.

He was charged with several offences, including possession of a
controlled substance,

Police warned that fentanyl and other dangerous opioids can be mixed
with other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ecstacy and oxycodone.

"Trying any drug - even just one time - could kill the user if it's
mixed with fentanyl or carfentanil," the police statement said.

The arrival of fentanyl and carfentanil, a similar, even more powerful
opioid, is forcing health officials and police to react on a number of

The Middlesex-London Health Unit plans to open a temporary overdose
prevention site as early as this month.

The temporary site would have supervision, clean needles and the
opioid overdose antitode naloxone. The facility is needed because of
the toll opioids are taking on users, health officials and frontline
workers say.

Middlesex-London medical officer of health Chris Mackie has said more
than one temporary site could open.

The health unit also is continuing with plans to open a permanent
supervised drug consumption site in London.

The Ontario government is offering naloxone to all of the province's
police and fire departments as part of an effort to combat the opioid

London police are moving ahead with plans to issue naloxone to
officers to protect them if they come in contact with opioids.

The warned issued Sunday by London police was the second
opioid-related warning within two months.

In November, police warned carfentanil - a synthetic opioid 10,000
times more powerful than morphine - was found in seized drugs.

A small amount of carfentanil powder, as little as two milligrams, can
be lethal through inhalation, ingestion or absorption through the skin.

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Overdose signs

* Difficulty walking, talking or staying awake

* Blue lips or nails

* Very small pupils * Dizziness and confusion * Choking, gurgling or
snoring sounds

* Slow, weak or no breathing * Police say 911 should be called
immediately if anyone is exhibiting these symptoms.
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