The SSM & Area Drug Strategy Committee
"We envision a safer & healthier community that optimizes the lives, abilities and health of individuals."
The SSM & Area Drug Strategy
CALL TO ACTION
It's Deadly - You can't see it, smell it, or taste it.
Fentanyl is a powerful pain medication. It is an opioid, like morphine, codeine, oxycodone (oxys), and methadone. According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) fentanyl is a synthetic opioid more than one hundred times more powerful than morphine, is being imported into Canada illegally, and has contaminated the illegal drug supply.
• Fentanyl has been mixed with other drugs such as heroin and cocaine.³ It can be pressed in tablets made to look like prescription drugs.⁴
• Overdoses have occurred where individuals were unaware; they were consuming fentanyl.⁴
• It is odorless and tasteless, and therefore, hard to detect. It is often found in powder, pill, liquid, and blotter form.⁴
• Two milligrams of pure fentanyl (the size of about 4 grains of salt) is enough to kill the average adult.
The Devastating Impact of the Opioid Crisis
The latest public health statement released December 12th, 2018 by the Special Advisory Committee on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses, confirms the current opioid crisis is the worst drug problem in Canadian history and the reality is frightening. What was once inconceivable is the new reality with a reported 2,066 opioid-related deaths in the first half of 2018,¹ and the grim news cautioning citizens the efforts to change the trajectory have failed. Communities across the provinces mourn the loss of friends, co-workers, and family members. Health and social community front-line workers are seeing an unprecedented ripple effect of the socio-ecological devastation ripping families apart as they fight to keep loved ones alive, support parents as they bury their children, and help young children who are now growing up without a parent. It’s unthinkable of those 2,066 deaths 94% were accidental – that’s 1942 people, 1398 or 72% of the accidental deaths were involved fentanyl or fentanyl analogues.¹ The contaminated illicit drug supply is poisoning the “first-time user”, the “recreational user”, the “closet user”, the “careful user”, the “experienced user”, there is no stereotype.
Approximately 11 Canadians die every day from apparent opioid related incidents.
Between 2016 - 2017, Suspected opioid-related overdoses were most common among individuals between the ages of
20 to 29
1. Public Health Agency of Canada (January 2016 - June 2018). News release: Latest Data on the Opioid Crisis. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/news/2018/12/latest-data-on-the-opioid-crisis.html
2. Special Advisory Committee on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses. Highlights from phase one of the national study on opioid- and other drug-related overdose deaths: insights from coroners and medical examiners. Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada; September 2018.
3. Comeau, T. (2018, June 02). Retrieved from: https://www.trurodaily.com/news/regional/rcmp-issue-public-warning-about-the-danger-of-fentanyl-after-responding-to-incident-in-shelburne-215171/