SARNIA – Three overdoses in mere hours, including one death — the sinister new face of Southwestern Ontario’s opioid drug crisis has killed again, this time not a week after a rare public health warning about the often-hidden killer.
A few grains of the powerful painkiller fentanyl, mixed with cocaine, likely caused a fatal overdose Wednesday night in Sarnia, prompting a new police warning in Sarnia about drugs laced with fentanyl.
Within five hours three separate overdoses were reported, resulting in the death of one person and two others admitted to hospital.
The latest toll comes after three health agencies and police in London last week combined to warn that fentanyl, a drug 100 times more powerful than morphine, is being added to other street drugs, with users often not knowing and taking huge risks in the process.
“Normally, people just don’t take cocaine and die,” said an expert at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.
“It’s a testament to the fact that the illegal drug supply has really never been more dangerous because of the presence of fentanyl and related compounds,” Dr. David Juurlink, Sunnybrook’s head of clinical pharmacology and toxicology, said Thursday.