Canada Rocked with Fatal “Purple Heroin”

Provincial police in southwestern Ontario are warning the public about a drug known as "purple heroin." OPP Const. Ed Sanchuk says drugs thought to be the deadly opioid fentanyl and cocaine were seized in January and sent to Health Canada for testing. Sanchuk says results returned to police show the drugs were actually a mix of heroin, morphine, fentanyl and carfentanil known as "purple heroin."

He says four people, two men and two women, were arrested at the time of the seizure and are facing numerous drug-related charges. Sanchuk says police are trying to make the public aware of the dangers of the deadly opioids. Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than fentanyl and 10,000 times more potent than morphine, and as little as two milligrams could be fatal through ingestion, inhalation or absorption through the skin.

Anyone using illicit drugs is "rolling the dice," Sanchuk said. If dealers weigh fentanyl on a scale and then weigh another drug on the same scale, there can be cross-contamination and "just minuscule grains" can be fatal, he said. Sanchuk said officers are now carrying Narcan -- a naloxone nasal spray that can reverse an opioid overdose -- and have had to use it on a number of occasions. "In the last couple of instances we've had, we've probably administered three to four doses before the person came around," he said.

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