Cornwall Police Service

Media Release - INCREASED OVERDOSE RISK - June 28, 2024

Published on June 28, 2024



Cornwall, ON – The Cornwall Police Service is warning residents about the increased risk of overdose due to nitazene opioids being detected in the unregulated and counterfeit drug supply.

This week, Health Canada detected the first sample of an emerging drug called N-pyrrolidino etonitazene (etonitazepyne) in Ottawa. This drug is classified as a nitazene opioid and is commonly referred to by its street name “Pyro”. The drug was detected in counterfeit hydromorphone M8 tablets that were located in the City of Ottawa. Nitazene opioids are believed to be 10 times more toxic than fentanyl and 1000 to 1500 more toxic than morphine. Because of the toxicity of the drug and the proximity of our city to the City of Ottawa, this may create an increased risk of overdose in our community.

Drug Poisoning Prevention and Safety Tips

The best way to prevent a drug poisoning is to avoid street drugs and to only take medications that were prescribed to you by a healthcare professional. However, if individuals use street drugs, taking the following precautions will help to lower the risk:

  • Never use alone.
  • If you are going to use alone, call the National Overdose Response Service at 1-888-688-6677. A non-judgmental peer will stay on the line with you for approximately 30 minutes to provide support if needed.
  • Use only where help is available.
  • Don’t mix drugs.
  • Take a test dose and wait before taking more of the drug.
  • Get a free naloxone kit that can help to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
  • Use only new drug paraphernalia supplies and avoid sharing supplies to reduce your risk of getting or passing on an infectious disease.

Signs of an Opioid Poisoning

  • Opioids such as fentanyl slow down the part of the brain that controls breathing, and in the event of a poisoning, can cause someone to stop breathing altogether, resulting in their death. Individuals having an opioid poisoning will display one or more of the following signs:
  • They may be nodding off, not waking up easily, or unresponsive.
  • They may be breathing very slowly or not at all.
  • Their lips and fingernails may be blue/grey.
  • Their skin may be cold and clammy.
  • Their body may be limp, possibly very tense or they may be shaking.
  • They may be snoring or gurgling.
  • They may foam at the mouth or throw up.

If you witness a poisoning, it is essential to contact 911 as soon as possible. A naloxone kit alone may not be enough to reverse the fatal effects of opioids and medical attention may be required. As time is of the essence, naloxone should be administered while you wait for emergency services to arrive. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act may provide legal protection for individuals that seek emergency help during a poisoning.

To learn more about naloxone overdose prevention kits and where you can find them, visit the Opioids page on the EOHU’s website at, or visit


The Cornwall Police Service would also encourages residents to contact police or leave an anonymous tip with Seaway Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222- TIPS (8477) or on their website at if they suspect someone is trafficking unregulated or counterfeit drugs.



Media Contact:
S/Cst. Georges Levere
Cornwall Police Service


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