Fentanyl-Related Deaths Increasing in Mississauga


Published January 10, 2017 at 4:46 am


If you’ve been hearing and reading the word “fentanyl” a lot lately, it’s because authorities are hoping to increase awareness of some dangers associated with the substance.

Recently, Peel police reached out to the community to discuss the “risks and seriousness of Fentanyl use.”

According to police, the drug is dangerous and has caused a number of deaths in both western Canadian cities and the Peel region.

In terms of use, Fentanyl is commonly prescribed to people dealing with chronic pain. It is skin permeable, meaning it’s immediately absorbed upon contact with skin.

Like any other medication, it can pose serious health risks and overdoses can be fatal. In the event of an overdose, a person might experience difficulty breathing and eventual respiratory and cardiac arrest. What’s unique about the drug is that it’s not just dangerous for the person ingesting it, it can be hazardous for emergency personnel and anyone else who comes into contact with an overdose victim.

According to police, 37 people have died from Fentanyl use in Peel in the last three years. In 2014, there were eight deaths where Fentanyl was either the primary or a contributing factor. In 2015 there were 12 deaths. In 2016, there were 17 deaths.

“These deaths illustrate the importance of educating both the public and emergency responders, including our officers, of the potential health and safety risks associated with the handling of Fentanyl,” Peel police say. “Within the Peel Regional Police, officers have received training outlining some of the dangers posed by the drug, as well as instruction on handling any powder form substance, in order to mitigate the impact of the exposure to toxic or dangerous compounds such as Fentanyl.

Police are advising people to report any unidentified substances to police immediately and to avoid touching unidentified substances or suspected drugs.

If you take fentanyl for medical purposes, be sure to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions on safe and proper use.

Police are asking anyone with any information pertaining to the illicit sale or misuse of Fentanyl to please contact the Major Drugs and Vice Bureau at (905) 453-2121, ext. 3515. Information may also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), by visiting www.peelcrimestoppers.ca, or by sending a text message to CRIMES (274637) with the word “PEEL” and then your tip.

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