Fentanyl: Street drugs found in Sarnia are believed to be laced with fentanyl, police say

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Sarnia police issued a warning about street drugs potentially laced with the often-deadly painkiller fentanyl following three drug overdoses, including one fatality, over a five-hour period Wednesday in the city.

Victims of the two other overdoses were in hospital, police said in a public safety notice.

The notice said the drug was thought to be cocaine but is now believed to have been laced with fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid.

“We are asking individuals who may have purchased any street drugs to not use the substance out of concern of a possible overdose,” Const. Giovanni Sottosanti said in the notice.

“Also, if you believe someone has overdosed please contact 911 to have paramedics attend immediately as every second counts,” he said.

The notice said the public shouldn’t be afraid to tell 911 staff drugs are involved in a medical emergency because the information will help determine the proper treatment and protection.

Under the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, put in place in May, there is immunity from charges of simple possession of a controlled substance, violation of pre-trial release, probation orders, conditional sentences or parole for individuals who seek emergency medical or law-enforcement help for themselves or another person suffering an overdose, Sottosanti said.

“If you know of a family member, loved one or friend who may fall victim to this, please talk to them and warn them,” he said.

Sottosanti said city police are concerned about the health and well-being of residents, as well as emergency workers responding to the calls.

“If the substance is indeed fentanyl, it only takes several grains of the drug to cause death,” police said.

“Please do not touch anything you even remotely believe to be the drug.” 

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