'Greenies' or street fentanyl prompts health alert in Yellowknife

The N.W.T.'s chief public health officer has issued a public warning about 'greenies,' a type of street fentanyl that can kill even in small quantities.

Health officials say 'very toxic' synthetic opiate has been sold as Oxycontin, heroin

The N.W.T.'s chief public health officer has issued a public warning about "greenies," a type of street fentanyl that is more toxic than other opioids and can kill even in small quantities.

Dr. Andre Corriveau, the N.W.T.'s chief public health officer, says 'greenies' are 'very toxic.' (Richard Gleeson/CBC)

"Illicit fentanyl is very toxic," says Dr. André Corriveau in a news release. "People need to be aware of this drug as even small quantities are very concentrated and can cause death."

The news release, issued by the Department of Health and Social Services, says illicit fentanyl has been appearing in green pill and powder form and has been sold as Oxycontin, heroin and other substances.

"People can die on their first use," the release says.

The release advises people to call their local health centre or emergency unit in the event of an overdose.

Signs and symptoms of an overdose include:

  • slow or absent breathing;
  • blue lips and nails;
  • not moving;
  • choking;
  • not waking up when roused;
  • cold or clammy skin.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.