Death of Ottawa Teens Blamed on Counterfeit Percocet Made with Fentanyl

Investigators confirm that pills found near Chloe Kotval’s body were fake Percocet containing a lethal dose of fentanyl. She is the youngest Canadian to be killed by fentanyl-laced fake medication, but hardly the first.

Chloe Kotval, a 14 year old Ottawa high school student died on February 14, 2017 after taking a counterfeit pill laced with fentanyl, CBC News reports. According to a subsequent story in Orleans Online, Chloe died as the result of taking counterfeit Percocet.

Orelans Online notes that Chloe is the second Ottawa teenager to die after taking a fentanyl-laced pill. 18 year old Teslin Russell died in similar circumstances in October.

On February 13th, Ottawa Public Health released an alert concerning fentanyl pills masquerading as genuine medication. “In Ontario, and locally, illicit fentanyl has been detected in counterfeit pills manufactured to resemble prescription pills like Percocet. The presence of illicit fentanyl significantly increases the risk of overdose; it is fatal in very small amounts.”

The Ottawa Public Health notice describes just how easy it is to be fooled by this fake medication: “Counterfeit pills can be manufactured to look almost identical to prescription opioids (i.e. Oxycontin, Percocet) and other medications. Obtaining drugs from a non-medical source such as a friend, ordering online, or a drug dealer is very risky and potentially life-threatening as there is no way to know what is actually in them or how toxic they may be. Drugs should only be purchased from a local pharmacy or a medical professional.”

In addition to the deaths of these two young women in Ottawa, CBC News reports that fentanyl was detected in 374 overdose deaths in British Columbia between January and October 2016. Dr. David Juurlink, head of clinical pharmacology and toxicology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, and a researcher with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), told CBC that fentanyl and the elephant tranquilizer carfentanil will kill at least 2,000 Canadians a year without drastic action by Canadian authorities.