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Street drugs tainted with opiates on the upswing in Cochrane District

In the past month-and-a-half and especially the last week, paramedics in Cochrane District have been responding to an increase in the number of poisonings caused by tainted street drugs.

Deputy Chief Seamus Murphy says it involves all street drugs, from crack to even hash that is tainted by opiates.

He says the Opioid Task Force, composed of several health agencies, wants to keep drug users safe while removing the stigma they face. Murphy points out that these people are coping with an unfortunate health issue.

“That’s what the public needs to be aware of and the naysayers on social media, what have you,” he remarks. “Just because someone suffers with an addiction doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a bad person.”

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Murphy urges all drug users to carry naloxone to reverse the effect of opiate poisoning.

says the first place to go to begin a treatment program is the Canadian Mental Health Association… which recently merged with Cochrane District Addiction Services.

“There are the services that we’ve (also) partnered with at Timmins and District Hospital, with the addictions withdrawal management team. These are the places they need to go.”

Those agencies, the paramedic service and the Porcupine Health Unit make up the district’s Opioid Emergency Task Force.

There’s much more from Seamus Murphy in this audio link:

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