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Deadly 'deep red' fentanyl suspected in recent suspected overdose deaths

Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy issues alert following three suspected overdose/poisoning related deaths since Saturday
overdose pills drugs stock

The Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy has issued an alert after three suspected drug overdose/poisoning related deaths were reported in the region between May 11 and May 13.

The warning says the unregulated drug supply is unpredictable. Saving someone from drug overdoses/poisonings may require more naloxone than normal, and unexpected reactions may occur. 

The Kitchener CTS Drug Checking Program has detected samples of Fentanyl, combined with various Fentanyl analogues, Desalkylgidazepam, Bromazolam, Xylazine, Medetomidine/ Dexmedetomidine and parafluorofentanyl.

Colours of concern include burgundy, deep red to light pink, green, and pale green. While a connection between the substances identified and the suspected drug overdose/poisoning related deaths is not known, the details on these substances are included for information.


  • 1. Call 911.
  • 2. Administer naloxone if an opioid drug overdose/poisoning is suspected.
  • 3. Perform rescue breathing and/or chest compressions.
  • 4. Do not give any other substance(s) because this can make the drug overdose/poisoning worse.
  • 5. If no improvements, continue to give naloxone 2-3 minutes apart until paramedics arrive.
  • 6. If you have to leave the person unattended, put them in the recovery position.


  • Never use substances alone. If using with a friend, do not use at the exact same time or use the National Overdose Response Service (NORS) at 1-888-688-6677.
  • Try a small amount first and use less drugs when your tolerance may be lower.
  • Avoid mixing substances – do not use other downers (e.g. benzos, alcohol, and other opioids).
  • Have naloxone ready and know how to use it.
  •  Use at the Consumption & Treatment Services (CTS) site at 150 Duke Street West (Open 7 days a week, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., 8:30 p.m. last call).
  • Anyone who is involved in a drug overdose/poisoning including the person needing help and anyone at the scene is protected from simple possession charges if you call 911 by the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act.