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‘Significant spike’ in apparent opioid overdoses triggers community safety alert

The Nishnawbe Aski Police Service says some of the apparent opioid-related overdoses within its Northeast Region this month have been fatal
A Naloxone kit with a nasal spray delivery.

The Nishnawbe Aski Police Service has issued a community safety alert following a “significant spike” in apparent opioid-related overdoses within its Northeast Region this month, some of which have been fatal.

It says there’s a “high potential” of extremely toxic drugs circulating in many of the communities it serves. 

“Fentanyl is an extremely potent synthetic opioid, and it can often be made more dangerous when drug traffickers mix additional chemicals (aka cutting agents) to their supply,” Nishnawbe Aski Police Service said in a news release.

“Fentanyl is often dyed in a variety of colours, but investigators cannot provide a specific description of the drugs suspected of causing this overdose spike. Because drug traffickers can change the colour of their product quickly, such a description could present a false sense of security for users.”

Community members are being encouraged to have Naloxone on hand and monitor anyone suffering from a suspected opioid-related overdose. 

“If you, or anyone you know, suffers an overdose please seek medical attention immediately even if the effects appear to have been reversed by Naloxone,” police added.

“We understand the use of dangerous opioids like Fentanyl is a symptom of serious addiction issues. We strongly encourage anyone who may be suffering from addiction to seek help.”

For more information, call the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction at 1-866-531-2600.

Anyone with information about ongoing drug-trafficking activity is asked to call their local NAPS detachment or submit an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers.