Fentanyl: London police, health officials warn it’s showing up in marijuana, other drugs

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The local health unit and London police are sounding the alarm, after potentially deadly fentanyl is showing up in other drugs, including marijuana.

Urine tests conducted this week on people who reported only using heroin or marijuana tested positive for the opioid, the health unit said in a statement Thursday. The tests were taken at Addiction Services of Thames Valley’s London treatment clinic.

There have also been reports that the drug, 100 times more powerful than morphine, has been found in its powdered form in London and is being snorted like cocaine.

“Users have no way of knowing what they are ingesting and too often the results are tragic,” said London police Chief John Pare.

“Recently, our police service has found that many illicit drugs have traces of fentanyl in them.”

In a statement released Thursday, the health unit said the presence of fentanyl in other drugs is “cause for great concern.”

“Finding fentanyl in drugs like marijuana means that people who think they are doing something minor may end up dying of overdose,” said Dr. Chris Mackie, medical officer of health.

Because of the high overdose risk, and because there is no way to detect the presence of fentanyl in other drugs, Middlesex-London Health Unit recommends users carry a naloxone kit and do not take drugs alone.

The overdose kits, and training on how to use them, are available at the health unit, community organizations, provincial corrections facilities and many pharmacies.


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