(Quebec) The wave of overdoses related to fentanyl consumption affecting the country as sweeping Quebec. The Public Health Branch of the National Capital has identified 11 cases of overdoses, including three deaths, in recent months.
The situation is worrying to the point that medical authorities on July 2 sent a first call for vigilance to all agencies that work with drug addicts in the region: CLSC, emergency personnel, pharmacists, community and police organizations, says Catherine Chagnon , Information Officer for the Academic Centre of integrated health and social services in the Capitale-Nationale (CIUSSS).
It then explained that the fentanyl-containing tablets circulating in the territory of Quebec City. This opioid analgesic, dozens of times more powerful than morphine and heroin is sold as a blue tablet, marked A-215 and nicknamed “the little blue”.
“We had information in early July of the presence of this new drug, says Ms. Chagnon. The information has been taken seriously enough to the director of public health, François Desbiens, decided to systematically investigate cases of severe overdoses that were reported. ”
Besides the intrinsic hazard of the drug, the problem lies in the fact that these are counterfeit tablets. “It’s sold as oxycodone [active product of Oxycondin] or another drug. So people consume a product other than what they believe consuming usual. It is a decoy, “says Ms. Chagnon.
The Public Health Department began its epidemiological investigation on July 8. On 6 August, when she was sent a second call for vigilance, she had listed 11 cases of severe overdoses related to fentanyl consumption, including three deaths. Those affected are aged between 19-44 years.
In the street
Mario Gagnon is aware of what is happening in the street. The Director General of point markers, organization that works with drug addicts, had heard about a new drug available in the area for some months.
“The users we reported that in the same batch of tablets, someone could not see special effects while another had adverse effects. We knew that there had been deaths in our customers, but we did not know then what it could be. ”
In March, The Sun published the paramedics Quebec observed a significant increase in the unusual number of people poisoned by drugs, with psychotic symptoms and aggression. At the time, Dr. Claude Rouillard, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at Laval University, said he was not surprised by the situation.
He then explained that the consumer becomes a kind of guinea pig with the only promise to get hold of a narcotic, always more powerful and prolonged effects. “These are drugs that are not tested. In Montreal, deaths have been reported in connection with contaminants, such as fentanyl. ”
More recently, the same fentanyl made headlines across the country. In one day, 16 cases of overdoses have been reported in Vancouver. The province has also experienced a wave of death. Among the victims, a 17-year-old believed consume Oxycontin and a couple of thirties.
The tablet is usually heated and then injected. Mario Gagnon, deaths in Quebec in the last month justify more than ever the implementation of a supervised injection center. “It starts to press,” he drops. In the winter, a report concluded that the need to open such a center in Quebec City. A committee needs to address in the coming months on the future shape of the project, and especially its location.
For now, Mr. Gagnon asked the Capital health center the possibility that addiction workers of his body can administer naloxone in overdose. The product has the advantage of curbing the action of the drug. One way to save lives when time is short. He did not answer yet, but hopes to return to the charge.