This is the beginning of the crisis of the fentanyl in Quebec

News 22 August, 2017
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    Fentanyl is 40 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. He has already left hundreds dead in the country.

    Antoine Lacroix and
    Camille Garnier

    Monday, 21 August 2017 23:12

    Monday, 21 August 2017 23:12

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    The crisis of fentanyl has landed to prevent a number of experts after seven overdoses that occurred on the same day in Montreal and two deaths related to the powerful synthetic drug this summer.

    “She is here, and we are not ready [to face them] and you should be,” said Jean-Francois Mary, the director of the quebec Association for the promotion of the health of people who use drugs (AQPSUD). The next step is that we intend our deaths and, at that time, there will be an admission of failure. “

    Last Friday, seven deaths occurred, one after the other in the east of Montreal. The authorities have strong suspicions that the fentanyl was consumed, but they expect analyses of the laboratory to confirm it. A person is still hospitalized and the others were able to get their leave.

    The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) confirms that two people died from an overdose of fentanyl in June and in August. They have identified 10 overdose deaths related to fentanyl since the beginning of the year.

    “In Montreal, this is not the same reality as in other big cities of Canada, except that we are very on the lookout. Each folder related to the fentanyl becomes a priority for our investigators, ” says Karine Paquette, chief of the investigation centre Is the SPVM.

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    Alexandre Paradis, SOS Roaming


    Of fentanyl across

    Last year, 656 people died in British Columbia after having consumed this drug is 40 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.

    “We are concerned about the situation, but I will use the term emergency. I would talk about a situation that we follow very closely, ” says his side Noémie Vanheuverzwijn, the ministry of Health and social Services.

    “Clearly, the coming wave of the United States and Western Canada is now among us. And if there are overdoses in Montreal, it is certain that there will also be also [in Quebec], ” says Alexandre Paradis, president of SOS Roaming, which claims to be acted on four cases of overdoses just this week.

    “You start to find them everywhere, even in drug in which there was not before, like the speed,” he continued, worried.

    Jessica Turmel, the Group for research and psychosocial intervention (GRIP) believes that the overdose may not ” only increase “, recalling that it is not enough that a grain of fentanyl too many to overdose.

    “Same driver “

    The alleged traffickers suspected of being linked to seven overdose of fentanyl at the end of the week in Montreal, were able to regain their freedom on bail, on Monday.

    “These are all people who were in different places and who did not know each other, but who had probably bought their stuff from the same delivery man “, said the captain Paquette.

    Mathieu Quintal, Frederick Couture, Michel Couturier-Bujold and Jean-François Masson, who have between 21 and 37 years, have in turn to parade in front of a judge on Monday, in order to be released pending their trial.

    The four individuals are all accused of possession of a narcotic for the purpose of trafficking. In some cases, the drug referred to is the fentanyl, but the police have also seized cocaine, heroin, hashish, methamphetamines and cannabis.

    – With Michael Nguyen

    Quebec is not ready, according to experts

    Most first responders are not trained to react in the case of an overdose of fentanyl and the only remedy remains available, say several experts.

    “This is disastrous, it is to see that our firefighters, our police officers and a good portion of our ambulance drivers simply do not know how to administer naloxone, which is the best antidote to fentanyl, regrets, Alexandre Paradis, president of the organization SOS Roaming. It is still incredible, because they are the ones who are called first in case of an overdose. “

    Naloxone is a chemical compound that counter the effects of opiates, such as heroin or fentanyl. Available from pharmacies without a prescription, it is sold in-aid-kits containing two syringes, the needles are retractable to avoid any risk of contamination.

    Not trained

    “A police officer is not trained for the moment “, confirms Karine Paquette, chief of the investigation centre Is of the SPVM, stating that discussions on this matter should take place this fall.

    Mr. Paradis regrets that we waited that opioids such as fentanyl are hundreds of deaths in the United States and in the canadian West before worrying about the situation here.

    “The government has not taken things seriously, slice-t-it. We should train the citizens to this kind of situation, such as training in first aid. “

    The ministry of Health and social Services indicates that training has already been given to some paramedics and that others may follow.

    Beyond the training in its use, the question of access to naloxone is also.

    “There are only three pharmacies that sell in Montreal, says Alexander Paradise. And it is necessary to see the stocks ! Two weeks ago, all three were in short supply. “

    Dr. Charles Bernard, president of the College of physicians, participates in a committee bringing together actors from sectors responsible for establishing an anti-opioids at the level of the province. He thinks that the government should take the extent of the emergency and to act quickly.

    “It is sure that a committee such as this one, government and multi-sectoral, it is not very agile,” he says. But I think here, it is time to push a little machine. “