Author Topic: Use of dangerous 'purple heroin' increasing in Ottawa  (Read 267 times)

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Use of dangerous 'purple heroin' increasing in Ottawa
« on: May 18, 2018, 10:00:31 PM »
Use of dangerous 'purple heroin' increasing in Ottawa

A powerful opioid mixture, known for its purple colour and Play-Doh-like consistency, is becoming increasingly prevalent in the city’s drug supply. Known as “purple heroin” — more informally by its street name, “purple pebbles” — the substance generally comprises a cocktail of heroin, fentanyl and morphine. In some cases, carfentanil, which is 100 times more powerful […]

A powerful opioid mixture, known for its purple colour and Play-Doh-like consistency, is becoming increasingly prevalent in the city’s drug supply.


Known as “purple heroin” — more informally by its street name, “purple pebbles” — the substance generally comprises a cocktail of heroin, fentanyl and morphine. In some cases, carfentanil, which is 100 times more powerful than plain fentanyl, is also included in the mix.


“Ottawa Public Health’s harm reduction program staff have been receiving reports of purple heroin use from OPH clients,” OPH spokesperson Donna Casey said in an email. “We are witnessing an increased risk of overdose associated with its use at both OPH’s supervised injection services location at 179 Clarence St. and at the trailer at 230 Murray St. operated by Shepherds of Good Hope and Ottawa Inner City Health.”





Health Canada said that, since 2015, their drug analysis service has received 119 samples seized by police that included a mix of heroin, morphine and fentanyl, and six that also contained carfentanil. They do not, however, record the colour of the samples received.


Because of the combination of drugs involved, it poses a higher risk to users, since without testing it is difficult to know what is actually in it. Reports from Vancouver note that it causes users to overdose almost instantly.





In Ontario, purple heroin is relatively new. While reports on social media about purple heroin stretch back to November 2017, the drug started popping up more frequently in January, and police in several jurisdictions (including Windsor, Hamilton, Kawartha Lakes and Niagara) have been warning the public about the dangers of the substance.


On May 10, Ottawa police warned the public that a “purple putty-like substance, possibly containing fentanyl” had been seized in a drug bust in Vanier, but that it would be “weeks, if not months” before they get the results, according to a spokesperson. 


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