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Police warn of new strain of fentanyl that can be used via vape

This could pose a significant risk if people are unaware of this consumption method and assume a vape pen contains nicotine or other flavourings

York Regional Police is warning the community about a new strain of the drug fentanyl that was discovered after an overdose incident in Newmarket.

The fentanyl seized at the scene was distinctive orange and pink colours that investigators have not seen before. Of additional concern is the fact the drug was consumed through a vape pen, with the fentanyl mixed with the nicotine oil.

This could pose a significant risk to public safety, especially if residents are unaware of this consumption method and assume a vape pen they may use contains nothing more than nicotine or other flavourings.

Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine. Two milligrams of pure fentanyl (the size of about four grains of salt) is enough to kill the average adult. If combined with alcohol or other drugs the risk of a fatal outcome is increased.

Someone overdosing on fentanyl may display slow, irregular and shallow respiration, pinpoint pupils, muscle rigidity, seizures and unconsciousness, which could lead to a coma. Less lethal effects include dizziness, drowsiness, headache, sleepiness, nausea and vomiting. Treating symptoms of fentanyl require higher doses of the antidote naloxone compared to other opioids.

York Regional Police is committed to combating the distribution of opioids in our community. For more information on how partners from across York Region are working together to reduce opioid harms, read the Opioid Action Plan.