The Eastern Ontario Health Unit is confirming the presence of purple heroin in the City of Cornwall.
The EOHU issued a statement Wednesday saying the extremely dangerous opioid, also known as purple, or purp, has been circulating in the city; and, that it has received reports of a blue substance circulating in the area as well. The EOHU said it hasn’t received lab confirmation on what the substances are, but said similar substances tested in other areas were confirmed to be Fentanyl and carfentanil.
It has been spotted as a powder, a putty like substance and/or a rock-like substance.
Both drugs have been circulating in the illicit market in North America for several years in both their pharmaceutical forms and illicit varieties and have been driving the opioid crisis that has claimed thousands of lives in the last several years.
The health unit encourages those who would choose to use street drugs to reduce the risk of overdose by never using alone, using where help is available, not mixing drugs, and carrying Naloxone. Free Naloxone kits are widely available throughout the province at pharmacies and other locations.
It also encourages anyone witnessing an overdose to immediately call 9-1-1, and that the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides legal protection to any bystander who attempts to help another person during an overdose.
Though the opioid crisis hit some surrounding communities such as Ottawa and Kingston two years ago, this is the first time the EOHU has confirmed the presence of this type of drug in the local community.