Drug Strategy Advisory: Presence of Etonitazene identified in sample of drugs seized by Thunder Bay Police

Purpose of this Advisory

January 25, 2022 - We have been advised by the Thunder Bay Police Service that a pink like rock substance containing fentanyl has come back with a synthetic opioid also present. The substance was seized in September 2021 and then tested by Health Canada’s Drug Analysis Service; a high potency synthetic opioid known as N-Pyrrolidino Etonitazene was present in the sample. It is the first detection of this substance of concern in the Thunder Bay area.


Classified as a benzimidazole, N-Pyrrolidino Etonitazene is a highly potent synthetic opioid which is 10-20 times more potent than fentanyl. Etonitazene produces effects similar to other opioids including euphoria, sedation, and respiratory depression. There is a significant risk of overdose due to its potency which may require greater than normal doses of naloxone in the event of an overdose.

There have been similar reports of N-Pyrrolidino Etonitazene circulating in other parts of Ontario, as well as other provinces in Canada. A similar alert was reported by Toronto Drug Checking Service on May 6, 2021 and in Saskatoon by the Prescription Review Program on November 18, 2021.

Harm Reduction

  • If you use drugs, start with a smaller amount (start low, go slow).
  • Don’t use drugs alone; use with someone you trust, visit Path 525 @ NorWest CHC or download the Lifeguard Digital Health App.
  • Pick up a FREE naloxone kit from Superior Points or a pharmacy.
  • Call 911 if your high feels unusual, or if you suspect someone is overdosing. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides legal protection from drug-related charges for carrying drugs for personal use and other simple possession offences.
  • Sign up for e-mail opioid alerts from the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.
  • If you are experiencing a crisis: Crisis Response @ 807-346-8282 or NAN HOPE @ 1-844-626-4673.


Additional information

News Type
News Releases
Health Topics
Alcohol & Other Drugs