JOINT NEWS RELEASE
BARRIE POLICE SERVICE AND
SIMCOE MUSKOKA DISTRICT HEALTH UNIT
On Monday, March 20, 2017, members of the Barrie Police Investigative Services attended a sudden death of a 26-year-old Barrie male.
Investigators seized a small vial of white powder from the scene to be tested by Health Canada. Testing confirmed the powder to be the deadly opioid carfentanil. The exact cause of death will be determined pending the results of the post-mortem toxicology report.
Carfentanil is an opioid associated with overdoses and deaths and reported as being 100 times more potent than fentanyl. Carfentanil is not meant for human consumption. It is tasteless, odourless and colourless.
Both police and health unit officials are urging the public to be aware that illicit fentanyl and carfentanil analogs have been found across the province mixed in with heroin, cocaine, crack, counterfeit pills made to look like prescription drugs (i.e. OxyContin, Percocet), and in other pills including ecstasy (MDMA). It is essential that 911 is called in the event of a suspected overdose.
The health unit continues to provide public education and working with partners on a region-wide opioid strategy. As well, the health unit has a surveillance system in place to monitor opioid-related emergency visits.
Advice for people using opiates recreationally:
- Avoid using drugs alone.
- Avoid mixing drugs.
- Use a small amount first to test strength.
- Recognize tolerance may be lower if recently released from prison, treatment programs or hospital.
- Carry a naloxone kit.
Naloxone kits, used to reverse an opioid overdose, are free and can be obtained from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit by calling 705-721-7520 or visiting one of the offices. For information on office locations visit www.smdhu.org . Naloxone kits can also be accessed at local participating pharmacies; for a complete list visit the website and look for the “Find a Pharmacy” link.
The kits have been used successfully to save lives in Simcoe County.
Anyone with information related to illicit drugs can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or remain anonymous by leaving a tip online