Deadly Fentanyl being found mixed with heroin
Published Monday, May 2, 2016 1:22PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 2, 2016 6:31PM EDT
A concerning trend on the street has Guelph Police alarmed.
Powered Fentanyl keeps being found in seized heroin throughout the city.
The synthetic opioid is 100 times stronger than morphine and incredibly harmful if taken improperly.
Fentanyl is typically used as a pain medication, prescribed by doctors in a slow release patch. Since hitting the streets as a main stream illegal narcotic, it is showing up in the forms of pills and powders.
According to Guelph Police, powdered Fentanyl can be deadly even at a microgram level.
They say that when mixed with street drugs like heroin, the ratio is very difficult for the street trafficker to judge and can easily lead to overdoses. Even more so when the user thinks they are receiving heroin instead of Fentanyl, which police say is often the case.
Locally there have been deaths associated with the intake of powdered Fentanyl.
"Fentanyl is approximately 100 times more powerful than morphine. But to understand its dangers, you must first understand that heroin, when sold on the street is already “cut” or mixed to approximately 1/10 th of its pure strength form," said Guelph Police Sgt. Ben Bair in an email interview.
"It is exactly this issue that sometimes leads to a sudden spike in heroin overdoses which has happened in various communities, where the dealer mixes the heroin in such a way that it is too strong even for regular users. Now with fentanyl being added to the mix, the margin for error becomes much tighter and the potential for overdose deaths increases."
Police are now issuing a warning to heroin users in the city. Heroin in the community usually contains Fentanyl and puts the user at a much higher risk of overdosing.
"In 2016 we are now seeing three quarters of any heroin seizures we have made, come back as being either heroin and fentanyl or just fentanyl alone, " said Bair.
They are also warning front line workers who may come in contact with people that use heroin or Fentanyl, as powered Fentanyl is dangerous to anyone who comes in contact with it due to its potency.
Police say if possible avoid touching unknown powered substances, but if you have to handle them wear protective equipment such as latex gloves or an air filtering mask
Another drug is making its way around Canada, and Guelph Police are concerned that it will make an appearance in Guelph.
W-18 is a drug even more powerful then powdered Fentanyl. It is 100 times more powerful than Fentanyl and 10,000 times more potent than morphine.
Although it has yet to be discovered in Guelph, police believe that it will be arriving from the same sources as the powdered Fentanyl in future.
They are reminding people to call police if they find any suspicious powders, pills or substances in both public places and private residences.
If someone is exposed to Fentanyl powder they should seek immediate medical attention.