Caution issued about increased carfentanil deaths across Ontario

In 2017, there were 81 opioid-related deaths in Simcoe-Muskoka

It is the most potent – and most deadly – of opioid drugs.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, says in the first four months of this year there was a 50 per cent increase in deaths in Ontario from carfentanil.

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The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit recommends anyone who uses drugs should take specific precautions.

  • Make sure there is a supply of overdose treatment such as Naloxone close at hand
  • Carry Naloxone and know how to use it to help anyone in an opioid overdose
  • Don’t use drugs alone. If that’s not possible, ask a friend to check in on you.

The numbers reported by the province are only preliminary, and may not be complete. Last year there were 73 confirmed and five probable deaths from opioids in Simcoe Muskoka. For the last two years there have been sharp increases in opioid-related deaths in the month of August in Simcoe Muskoka.

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NOTE: In 2017, there were 81 opioid poisoning deaths among Simcoe Muskoka residents, including 58 that were related to fentanyl. This means that nearly three-quarters of all opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka in 2017 involved fentanyl. This was more than triple the number of fentanyl-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka in 2016 and nearly six-times higher than the average number of fentanyl deaths from 2009 to 2015 in Simcoe Muskoka.