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Health officials warn of fentanyl on P.E.I. following 2 overdoses in 24 hours

Health officials and police on Prince Edward Island are warning Islanders about the presence of a highly potent opioid, fentanyl, in the province.

The warning comes after two confirmed accidental overdoses, and one possible overdose, involving the drug in the Summerside area in 24 hours.

“I think fentanyl reaches all corners, and Summerside’s no different than anywhere else,” said Cpl. Dale Cornish with the Summerside Police.

According to a news release from the province, no deaths have been reported in relation to these incidents.

“Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is 50-100 times stronger than morphine and has caused accidental overdoses and death in individuals who consume street drugs,” said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison in a news release.

This isn’t the first time officers in Summerside have issued a warning about fentanyl.

“Given the fact that we’ve had a couple here within a very short span it certainly seems important to send that notice out again. I mean it’s something you’d want people to be aware of all the time.”

Naloxone, sold often under the brand Narcan, is a medication used to reverse the effects of opioids.

“Carrying naloxone and informing others who may use drugs that naloxone is available across Prince Edward Island are important steps to reduce the risk of possible accidental overdoses,” said Morrison.

If someone feels they need a naloxone kit, the province says they can contact the provincial Needle Exchange Program online.

They say free kits are also available to clients of mental health and addictions programs, and select community groups.

“Anybody who’s going to be taking opioids of that sort should make sure that they have somebody with them at all times, and certainly somebody that’s capable of administering naloxone, and at the first sign of anything going wrong to make sure they call 911 and seek medical system,” said Cornish.

Remote (phone-based) overdose response services are also available, including the National Overdose Response Service and Brave.

Both services are available 24/7 and are free and confidential.

Sgt. Jason Blacquiere of the Summerside Police Services says it is concerning to see fentanyl circulating in the community.

“We are being vigilant in our response and continue to work with our partners to ensure there are safe and healthy communities across the province,” he said.

Police say they are continuing their investigation into these incidents. They’re asking anyone with information related to the overdoses, or other drug-related information, to contact the Summerside Police Services at 902-432-1201. Top Stories

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