Skip to content

Two deaths, 44 overdoses from tainted drugs prompt warning

Ketamine detected in two fentanyl samples suspected in rise of overdoses between Nov. 7 and 14
Another marker representing a overdose death in the region

An anesthetic detected in fentanyl samples has prompted a community drug alert after two suspected overdose deaths and 44 cases of suspected overdoses/drug poisonings were reported across Waterloo region over the last week.

The alert from the Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy says the Drug Checking Program at the Kitchener consumption and treatment services site recently detected two fentanyl samples containing ketamine.

Ketamine is an anesthetic and painkiller used primarily in veterinary surgery.


  1. 1. Call 911.
  2. 2. Administer naloxone if an opioid drug poisoning is suspected.
  3. 3. Perform rescue breathing and/or chest compressions.
  4. 4. Do not give any other substance(s) because this can make the drug poisoning worse.
  5. 5. If no improvements, continue to give naloxone 2-3 minutes apart until paramedics arrive.
  6. 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, 9am-9pm, 8:30pm last call). Drug checking services are also available at the CTS site.  
  • Anyone who is involved in a drug 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.

Naloxone kits and harm reduction supplies are free and available for pickup across Waterloo Region.

For pickup at public health or a community partner location, visit or call 519-575-4400.

For other locations in Waterloo Region and across Ontario, visit

Call Here 24/7 for addiction, mental health, and crisis services anytime for support. 1-844-437-3247 1-844-HERE247