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Contaminated crystal meth may be circulating in Guelph: WGDS

In a city known for its tight-knit spirit, a recent spike in suspected drug-related deaths has sent shockwaves through the Guelph community.

"This is extremely concerning of course," said Jean Hopkins, manager of the Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy (WGDS).

Community members, local police and health officials are grappling with nine drug poisonings, including four suspected drug-related deaths, in just one week.

"These are tragedies of course and they have significant impacts on our community," Hopkins said.

In a health alert issued on Thursday, WGDS said the crystal meth supply may be contaminated with strong opioids.

"This is an issue that really speaks to the unpredictability of the current drug supply and of any unregulated substance," Hopkins said.

Guelph police confirmed with CTV News there is an ongoing investigation into where these substances are coming from.

According to Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health (WDGPH), there were 24 drug-related deaths reported between Jan. 1 and Sept. 27 in Guelph.

“The potency feels like it's increasing – and the mixing. So people aren't always aware of what they're taking," said Mark Anderson, managing director of the Royal City Mission.

In response to these deaths, the Royal City Mission recently hosted a memorial where the community gathered to share stories of those who have lost their lives. It was the third memorial they hosted.

"It's an opportunity for workers from other agencies, people from the community, just to come and remember those who were lost because we lose a lot," Anderson said. "It is tricky when you have something like meth, which people don't tend to overdose on, and we don’t always get a chance to remember. There are too many, too many deaths."

The recent wave of suspected drug-related deaths in Guelph is serving as a stark reminder of the urgent need for action.

"It's a matter of raising awareness and letting people know that precautions need to be taken regardless of the substance they are using," Hopkins said.

WGDS is renewing calls to substance users to be cautious when using unregulated drugs, as supply may be stronger than usual. Top Stories


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