Officials warn of dangerous 'free' drug being handed out in Sudbury

Founders of an overdose prevention group in Sudbury are warning the public about a 'free' but extremely dangerous substance being handed out in the downtown area.

Marie Pollock is a member of the Sudbury Temporary Overdose Prevention Society. Recently, Pollock was downtown when an individual handed her the free substance, being called 'THC Gold.'

“They won’t just give you one, they give you a bunch," she said. "No questions asked, you don’t have to pay. I’ve been approached three times. I kind of had an idea that it’s kinda' fishy, because no one hands out free drugs.”

Pollock took it upon herself to get the substance tested on four different occasions.

“When I did the first three, it showed up as cocaine, methadone, and invalid for benzodiazepines and THC," she said. "All three of them came back with the same test. When I did that fourth one with you, it shows morphine and is saying invalid for the others.”

Officials with the local health unit are advising people in the community to not accept the free drug. They are also encouraging drug users to have a naloxone kit nearby at all times just in case.

Public health nurse Josee Joliat said it's important people know the risks they are taking, and to be prepared.

“Make sure that you follow through with our harm-reduction messaging and make sure you’re taking the proper precautions to stay safe,” said Joliat.

Pollock said she isn’t the only one who has been approached.

“I’ve gotten messages from people that they have found this on the grass," she said. "What if a child did that and didn’t think of anything? Anything can happen. The possibilities are there.”

The group wants to spread the message and warn others in the community.

Pollock said if the material being handed out is tainted with some hard-core substances that could take a life, it needs to be known immediately.