Here’s an excellent article from VICE News regarding the alarming opioid overdose rate in the United States of America and Canada. The article primarily addresses fentanyl overdoses. Click Here
Toronto Sun – May 8, 2016
BARRIE – Originally sentenced to nine years in prison, a medical secretary who forged fentanyl prescriptions for sale across Ontario was back on the streets after only 11 months.
Julie Baks, then 31, wept in the prisoner’s box in May 2014 as she pleaded guilty to forging and trafficking up to $400,000 of the highly-potent painkiller fentanyl — an opioid 20 times stronger than heroin.
By the following April, Baks was living at a residential facility and free on day passes. She is now on full day parole and scheduled to receive full parole in August.
It was sheer coincidence that Baks was caught on video creating forged fentanyl prescriptions while working in a doctor’s office in Barrie.
The doctor set up the hidden camera because he suspected she was stealing money from the petty cash drawer. Sure enough, the video captured Baks reaching into the drawer and putting money in her purse. She was sentenced to 60 days of house arrest with an ankle bracelet for theft.
Ontario’s top police leaders are teaming up with community partners and families whose loved ones have died from Fentanyl-related deaths to make available an Ontario-specific, web-based source of information on the dangers associated with the use and abuse of this extremely potent painkiller.
The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) unveiled a new website, www.facethefentanyl.ca, at a news conference at Toronto’s Humber College. The website concept and public education posters, developed by Humber College’s AdCentre, are now available to Ontario police services, public health units, and other community groups who want to stop Fentanyl-related deaths in Ontario.
“Between 2010 and 2014, Fentanyl was a factor in 577 deaths in Ontario. Police services across Ontario cannot stand by while our sons and daughters, our friends, and the people we serve die from the use and abuse of this drug.” said OACP President Chief Jeff McGuire.
In 2014 alone (the last year for full annual numbers), there were 152 Fentanyl-related deaths in the Province of Ontario.
Fentanyl can be obtained legally in Ontario through prescriptions and is usually prescribed for the treatment of acute pain. It is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 40 times more than heroin. The new website features information and resources for users and anyone who is concerned about a loved one’s use and/or abuse of Fentanyl. The website and other resources are also available to public health units and other health care and social services professionals.
“The death of my daughter Tina in 2012 because of Fentanyl has devastated and changed my family,” said Tina’s mom Sherrie Dolks. “I don’t want anyone else to have to go through the pain that my daughter’s death caused for her family and friends.”
Dolks is an advocate for families of Fentanyl victims and has a Facebook page, Gone Too Soon – The Dangers of Fentanyl, dedicated to raising public awareness and support for people impacted by a Fentanyl-related death.
In November 2015, the OACP released a resource document for establishing Patch 4 Patch Fentanyl Abuse Prevention programs. Subsequently, the Ontario legislature passed the Safeguarding Our Communities Act (Fentanyl Patch for Patch Return Policy), which established a provincial policy whereby individuals who are prescribed Fentanyl in transdermal patches must return all of their patches before being given new ones.
Fentanyl is an extremely powerful painkiller that is quickly become a drug of choice for opioid addicts. The Halton Region has seen an increase in fentanyl seizures and overdose. Click here to view an excellent report from Global News regarding fentanyl.
On August 13th, 2015, the Halton Regional Police and Halton paramedics responded to Marlborough Court, in Oakville, for a male who overdosed after having smoked fentanyl with his friend. The male was rushed to the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. Fortunately, the male’s condition improved quickly and was later discharged. Both males were charged by the police with possession of a controlled substance.
Fentanyl is an extremely powerful opioid, used for pain relief, that can be fatal if not administered properly. Fentanyl can be prescribed as a patch that is placed on the patient’s skin, which is slowly absorbed into the body over a period of time. People who use fentanyl recreationally will tear open the patches and smoke the fentanyl.
The Halton Police Drug, Gun & Gang Unit, is in the preliminary stages of implementing a ‘Patch 4 Patch’ program. Participating pharmacists would required individuals to surrender their used fentanyl patches in order to get their prescription renewed. This program would assist in reducing the amount of fentanyl being consumed recreationally in Halton. The Halton Regional Police hope to have this program up and running this fall.
Marihuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine are the top 3 drugs seized by the Halton Regional Police in first half of 2015. Also included at the top of the list are; cannabis resin (hashish), MDMA (ecstasy), and opioids. The most common opioids include oxycodone, fentanyl, and hydromorph contin.
The Halton Regional Police has several different investigative units actively targeting individuals responsible for the sale and distribution of these harmful drugs.
Drug believed to be moved along the same north-Pacific trade route as ecstasy
Tamsyn Burgmann The Canadian Press
Posted:Aug 06, 2015 5:15 PM PT
Last Updated:Aug 06, 2015 5:15 PM PT
The powerful opioid fentanyl, recently linked to an outbreak of overdose deaths in Western Canada, appears to be flowing along a well-worn drug trafficking route — killing some of its users in the same way tainted ecstasy did before.
Authorities theorize the potent painkiller is being imported from Asia to the West Coast, then moved to the black market in B.C. and Alberta by organized crime groups.