September 22, 2016 6:06 pm
Updated: September 23, 2016 9:28 am

Addictions doctor says fentanyl patients come from all backgrounds

A Winnipeg doctor says opioid addictions are on the rise and can affect anyone.

Global News

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg addictions doctor says she has seen an increasing number of opioid users from all backgrounds, social classes and ages.

“Initially we think that it’s a street person or it’s someone that we don’t know, but I think whats happening is it’s hitting people closer to home,” Dr. Ginette Poulin, with Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, said.

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Poulin says it can even stem from an athlete taking a percocet and getting hooked.

“We’re seeing it in all walks of life,” Poulin said. “There’s no immunity to having an opioid addiction.”

The doctor has heard of parties where teenagers will take prescription drugs from their parent’s cabinet and share them with their friends – referred to as “skittle parties.”

She has also seen more cases of fentanyl being shipped from other countries.

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“There’s been a lot of importation from Asia and China,” Poulin said. “I have patients who tell me that they get their fentanyl sent to them in an envelope that’s sent to them in what looks like a birthday card.”

Another concern is people doing opioids unintentionally. The doctor warns that other drugs have been cut with fentanyl before.

“You might think you’re getting cocaine but there might be traces of fentanyl in there,” Poulin said. “Someone who is opioid naive, so they’ve never had any opioids or don’t do it regularly, for them it could be fatal and that’s scary.”

Poulin suggests that parents talk to their kids about drugs and their effects, and also to keep prescription drugs locked up somewhere safe.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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