Crystal Schick/Yukon News file Dr. Brendan Hanley, the Yukon’s chief medical officer of health. Hanley is warning that potentially lethal heroin could be in the territory.

Tainted heroin could be in the Yukon, says chief medical officer

‘It would completely reasonable to expect that it might be here’

Potentially lethal heroin laced with fentanyl or carfentanil may be in the Yukon, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley.

The drug cocktail is called “purple heroin” after its colour.

“We just know it’s in the country and that there are anecdotes of there being some kind of a powerful heroin product being around (in the Yukon),” Hanley said.

“We think it might be purple heroin. It would completely reasonable to expect that it might be here because we know that drugs that are elsewhere do find their way into the community.”

Hanley warns Yukoners to be extra cautious. This could mean running heroin through a test offered by Blood Ties Four Directions.

“We’ve heard of recent overdoses that have been thought to be associated with heroin,” he said.

In a written statement, Yukon RCMP spokesperson Coralee Reid said that while most heroin seized is brown, some has been purple and pink. Fentanyl has been detected in these batches, she said.

“We’ve responded to calls for service where people have shown signs of overdose and/or been ill after consuming what is believed to be purple heroin, but this has not been confirmed through testing at this point,” she said, noting that over a 12-month period, officers used naloxone on 17 people.

Illicit drugs enter the territory through crime syndicates in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, Reid said.

There have been no suspected or confirmed opioid overdose deaths this year, Hanley said.

“We put this out quickly, even though we don’t have a lot of detailed information on what’s going on, because we thought people need to know this might be present,” he said.

“We’re just gonna remain very vigilant about this and get whatever intel we can.”

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

A look inside Whitehorse’s operations building

A phased-in move is expected to begin in October

The wonderful world of worm compost

Worms kept in a bin under your sink can let you compost organic scraps year-round

Former board member worries Many Rivers could drown in debt

Skeeter Wright says the new board won’t be able to pay debts left by its predecessor

Record medal haul for Team Yukon at Western Canada Summer Games

Nine medals — three silver and six bronze — put the Yukon fourth in the medal standings

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Sunny skies for 2019 Rick Janowicz Long Lake Triathlon

“It was sunny and breezy — perfect temperatures — and I think people enjoyed it”

Driving with Jens: What do milk and your child’s car seat have in common?

Things have changed since kids used to sprawl across the back window of the car

YCCMA Mosquito Harescramble includes record numbers for return of ladies class

“I think it’s a good indication it’s turning to a family sport versus what it has been in the past”

Yukonomist: Fun facts for your next violent barbecue debate about government jobs

Have you ever been at a barbecue where someone starts talking loudly… Continue reading

Yukon disc golfers compete in Trilogy Challenge

“We definitely are seeing a lot of new people starting into the sport”

History Hunter: New book celebrates Yukon’s most colourful hotel

If the walls could talk, what tales they would tell. But the… Continue reading

River Trail Marathon tests runners with heat and sun

“It was very hot in the second half, but the volunteers are amazing and there is water often”

Most Read