Toronto

Fentanyl overdose in Oakville parking lot leads to 2 arrests

Police in Oakville charged two men, including one who was arrested after overdosing, for possession of fentanyl, the powerful opioid linked to a spate of recent deaths across the country.

Powerful prescription painkiller was smoked, police say

Police in Oakville charged two men, including one man who had overdosed, for possession of fentanyl, the powerful opioid linked to a spate of recent deaths across the country.

The Halton Regional Police Service said they were called to an apartment building at 1229 Marlborough Court in Oakville, where they found a 20-year-old man outside and unconscious from an apparent overdose.

"While providing emergency first aid, police observed a container with a white powdery substance," police said in a news release.

The man was transported to Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, and has since been released.

Police also found the man who had called 911, and placed him in custody.

Police now allege the man who overdosed sought out the drug in an online ad. After connecting with the other suspect, the two sampled the drug by smoking it, at which point the first suspect lost consciousness.

Det. Sgt. Brad Murray said the case underscores how dangerous fentanyl is for those who don't know what they're getting into.

"Under no circumstance," he said, should the drug be used recreationally.

Fentanyl, which usually comes in a patch form, is a powerful prescription painkiller that's far more potent than morphine and heroin. The biggest concern is that fentanyl patches are being altered, which makes them lethally potent, or added to other drugs frequently taken by recreational drug users, such as cocaine.

An undisclosed quantity of fentanyl was recovered by police at the scene, and officers say the investigation is ongoing.

Both men are charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Murray said this marks the first case of fentanyl showing up in Halton region.

Toronto police warned on Wednesday that a quantity of fentanyl had been stolen from a vehicle earlier this week.

This week also saw the release of a Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse study that found there were 655 fentanyl-related deaths in Canada between 2009-2013, including 472 in Ontario. 

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.

now