Public health alert warns Islanders about presence of fentanyl on P.E.I.

·1 min read
This photo shows a kilogram of fentanyl seized in Victoria, B.C. in 2020. (Victoria Police Department - image credit)
This photo shows a kilogram of fentanyl seized in Victoria, B.C. in 2020. (Victoria Police Department - image credit)

P.E.I.'s Chief Public Health Office and Summerside Police took the rare step late Thursday of issuing a public health alert to let Islanders know fentanyl is present on P.E.I.

Fentanyl is a highly potent and potentially deadly opioid that is sometimes detected in illegal drugs.

There have been two confirmed and one possible fentanyl overdose reported on P.E.I. in the last 24 hours, a written release from the organizations said. No deaths have been reported related to these cases.

"Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is 50 -100 times stronger than morphine and has caused accidental overdoses and death in individuals who consume street drugs," said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison.

She recommends Islanders carry naloxone, and tell others who may be using drugs that naloxone is available for free on P.E.I.

Life-saving naloxone kits free on P.E.I.

Naloxone is a medication that can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose.

Stefan Labbe/CBC
Stefan Labbe/CBC

Free naloxone kits are available at several locations across P.E.I. including the needle exchange program.

The release also noted remote overdose response services are available including the National Overdose Response Service and Brave.

"People who use drugs are encouraged to contact these services to reduce the risk of overdose, especially if using drugs alone," it said.

If you suspect an overdose:

  • Call 911.

  • Remember the Canadian Good Samaritan law protects people from being charged for simple drug possession, and call 911 if needed.

  • Look for slow, shallow breathing and severe sleepiness.

  • Call 911 even if naloxone has been administered because it may not be enough to counteract the overdose and only lasts for 20 minutes.

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