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'Lives are at risk:' Renfrew County officials warn of tainted drugs


Health officials in Renfrew County are warning about a potentially tainted batch of illegal drugs in the community after several overdoses in the past week.

The Renfrew County and District Health Unit said in a news release Monday that cocaine may have been tainted with a highly potent opioid, such as fentanyl. The specific substances have not been confirmed, they added.

"Life-threatening drugs likely are circulating, and lives are at risk," Renfrew County Paramedic Service Acting Commander Steve Osipenko said in the news release.

Officials are reminding people not to use alone and to carry Naloxone, which can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose. They also advise people not to mix drugs, to start by using in small amounts to check the strength of the drugs and to know your tolerance.

"It is important to rememberthat all street drugs must be considered highly toxic and potentially fatal," the release said.

The signs of an opioid overdose include:

  • Slow or irregular breathing, or no breathing at all
  • Fingernails and/or lips are blue/purple
  • Body is limp
  • Deep snoring or gurgling sounds
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unresponsive
  • Tiny pupils

For those who need support, the Renfrew County Addiction Treatment System provides assessment, counselling and treatment programs for people who use substances. Top Stories

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