(THUNDER BAY, ON) – The opiate epidemic rages on in Thunder Bay and across the nation. Every 5 minutes in Thunder Bay, someone, somewhere is getting high on opiates.
The dangerous and often fatal opiate “purple down” has hit the streets of Thunder Bay by storm and has taken over a majority of the opiate black market. Users get their high from smoking or injecting the drug cocktail which often contains heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil. Recent analysis of local “purple down” had ingredients such as crystal methamphetamine, dog dewormer and random other crap in it.
On Friday in the 100 block of Johnson Ave there was an overdose where a drug user did a little too much and ended up getting Narcanned. The woman was using drugs via a free needle provided by our needle exchange program.
Shortly after that woman overdosed, a male youth in the 500 block of Edward overdosed and ended up in the emergency department of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (A.K.A. “The Hilton”).
Not too long after that, a woman in the 600 block of west Francis street was using drugs and overdosed. She was shipped off to the emergency department for further monitoring.
Overdose symptoms include:
- blue lips or nails
- dizziness and confusion
- can’t be woken up
- choking, gurgling or snoring sounds
- slow, weak or no breathing
- drowsiness or difficulty staying awake
If you are using drugs, please do so safely:
- Have naloxone (NARCAN®) ready.
- Use with other people, but NOT at the exact same time. Never use drugs alone.
- Start with smaller amounts than usual.
- An overdose occurs quickly.
- Call 911 if you suspect the person is overdosing.
- Stay with the person until help arrives.
For a free naloxone kit, contact the Shelter House or ask your local pharmacist.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid pain reliever that is similar to morphine and is estimated to be 50 to 100 times stronger.
- It is a toxic synthetic opioid which is sometimes mixed into street drugs.
- It is not intended for human consumption.
- It has been used in tablets that look like prescription drugs.
- It has no smell or taste and you can’t see it.
- You may not know that your drug is laced with carfentanil.
- It comes in many forms: powder, pill, liquid and blotter.
With files from Public Health Sudbury & District