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Two overdose deaths in 24 hours have police warning over deadly new drug supply

The potentially lethal drug is a cheaper alternative to other narcotics and requires a smaller dosage to get high which is why it is more popular, police say.
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THUNDER BAY - In the last 24 hours, Thunder Bay police have responded to a series of overdose calls in which at least two people are confirmed to have died from suspected overdoses from a deadly new batch of drugs believed to arrived in the city two days ago.

“We are once again concerned about the drugs that have come to the city,” Det.-Insp. John Fennell of the Thunder Bay Police Service said Friday, July 31.

Police issued a warning to the public about a fentanyl-based drug known as "pink down" or "pink dizzy" which appears to be at the root of a spike in overdose deaths in the city.

“It is a little more powerful than what most (drug) users are used to and unfortunately it is causing fatal overdoses,” Fennell said, adding Naloxone, a medication used to reverse an opioid overdose appears to be ineffective against the drug.

An investigation into the deaths led police to believe the result was from a new shipment of a pink coloured fentanyl-based drug mixture. Police are still unsure what the powder-like drug is mixed with but say it is more lethal than any other drug they have historically dealt with.

“We are quite concerned that there might be more so we are trying to get the message out as fast as we can so addicts have the ability to protect themselves,” Fennell said.

The drug is a cheaper alternative to other narcotics and requires a smaller dosage to get high, which is why it is more popular, Fennell explained.

“It gives you that euphoric feeling for less dollars and I believe that is the draw. Unfortunately [drug users] are waiving the safety with it because they are looking for something cheaper and it is highly, highly addictive.”

Police are reminding the public to reach out if they believe drugs are being sold in the community by calling the police detachment at 807-684-1200.



Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Karen Edwards reports on court and crime under the Local Journalism initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada.
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