Pubdate: Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Source: Wiarton Echo (CN ON)
Copyright: 2018 Wiarton Echo
Author: Denis Langlois
Page: 2



Public health is urging anyone who uses drugs to get a free naloxone

The call comes after Owen Sound police announced Jan. 26 that the
highly potent opioid carfentanil was confirmed in a pair of
investigations in the city.

"All drugs are dangerous and we don't know oftentimes what is in other
drugs. So you could be getting what you think is one drug when, in
fact, there could be something else in it," public health nurse
Lindsay Cook said in an interview.

"We're just wanting people to be safe, because we don't know what is
in other substances, so that they can be prepared in the event of an

The provincial government says there have been reports of carfentanil
and fentanyl being mixed with street drugs, either on purpose or by

Naloxone can temporarily reverse the effects of an overdose from
opioids, which include morphine, heroin, oxycodone, methadone,
fentanyl and carfentanil.

Cook said people can visit the Grey Bruce Health Unit, without an
appointment anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday,
to pick up a naloxone kit and receive training on how to recognize an
overdose and administer the medication, which is also available at
some local pharmacies.

Owen Sound Police Service acting Det-Sgt. Craig Matheson said city
police seized drugs after searching a downtown apartment in October.
Health Canada analyzed the drugs and confirmed the presence of

In the same month, police investigated an impaired driver. Blood taken
from the driver also detected the presence of carfentanil, which is
used by veterinarians to tranquilize large animals like elephants.

Matheson said they were the first confirmed cases of the highly
dangerous opioid - which is 100 times more potent than fentanyl - in
Owen Sound.

In the news release from the Grey Bruce Health Unit, Cook says, "if
you or someone you know uses drugs, get a naloxone kit."

Signs that someone is experiencing an opioid overdose include: soft
breathing or no breathing; snoring or gurgling sounds; pinpoint
pupils; blue lips, nails or skin; cold clammy skin; limp body; and not
responding to shouting.

Public health says it's important to call 911 even if naloxone is used
as the medication is "very short acting once given" and the person
that has overdosed is at high risk of going back into an overdose.

The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides some legal protection
for individuals who seek emergency help during an overdose, public
health says.

Cook said naloxone is a safe medication that has no potential for
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