Fentanyl deaths are just a matter of time


BARRY’S BAY – Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU) are concerned about a growing danger that is spreading across the country.

Deaths from opioids, like codeine, heroin, methadone, morphine and Oxycodone, have increased by 50 per cent in the five years since 2010 in Ontario.

Deaths involving another opioid, fentanyl, have doubled in that time.

While RCDHU do not keep track of fentanyl deaths in Renfrew County, the Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kathryn Reducka, who heads up the unit, is concerned.

“We know the bootleg stuff is in the community. We’ve heard that from other people and our partners in the community,” Dr. Reducka said. “I don’t go and ask the drug dealers, but I hear that it’s been mixed in with cocaine and mixed in with different things.”

She said we might not have had, or know for sure if we’ve had, a fentanyl death yet.

“[But] it’s just a matter of time,” she said.

There are several dangers with bootleg fentanyl, Reducka said.

Firstly, like all drugs made or modified for the street drug market, it is of uneven and unpredictable strength. 

Get your November 30, 2016 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.