MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- Woodstock police issued a grim warning Monday after a rise in fatal outcomes stemming from overdoses over the last two weeks. Const. Shaylyn Jackson says four people have died because of an overdose, and those stem from a powerful and potent from of fentanyl “It seems that the grey/black fentanyl and the purple fentanyl are things that we have seen recently as a result of these fatal overdoses.”

Overdose rates in London are also seeing a rise in 2021.

“So far this year we’ve seen 117 suspected opioid overdoses” says Miranda Bothwell from London Middlesex EMS. That accounts for a 53 per cent increase over last year at this time. And February saw a jump of over 80 per cent from January.

“We always don’t know what is happening on the street,” says Shaya Dhinsa from the Middlesex-London Health Unit says there is a constantly changing landscape when dealing with opioids “colour changes, a mix of drugs, and by the time we’re aware of it, it’s been out and now we see a fair amount of increased overdoses.”

The health unit also tracks how much Naloxone is distributed, and Dhinsa says that is also in more demand this year

“There’s been about 12-hundred kits distributed between January and February. So there is an increased need, but the good news is there’s people taking those kits, so hopefully we’ll be able to save lives.”

Woodstock Police say in the statement, signs that you should look for to determine if someone is experiencing an overdose:

- Slow, weak, or no breathing

- Drowsiness, difficulty staying awake or cannot be woken up

- Choking, gurgling or snoring sounds

- Blue lips or nails

- Dizziness

How you can help:

1. Call 9-1-1

2. Administer Naloxone (it may take more than one dose)

3. Stay at the scene until help arrives