Over a 36-hour period starting just after midnight on Canada Day, police say they responded to seven overdoses. Six of the people died.
“It’s at epidemic proportions at this time,” said Dean Rae, deputy chief at Regina Police Service.
Regina police say city’s overdose outbreak needs to be addressed within the health-care system
Four of the fatal overdoses are believed to be from the same batch of drugs, which is suspected to be laced with fentanyl or fentanyl.
“The proximity and time are closely related,” Rae said. He remains unsure as to what drug caused the other two fatalities.
Regina police continue to deal with climbing a number of overdoses in the city.
Since January 1, there have been 451-known overdoses in the city.
Police say they attended 175 of them and administered Narcan – also known as naloxone – 36 times.
There have been 24 deaths related to drug-use, police say. Another 16 deaths are possibly related to drug-use, but have been unconfirmed, police say.
“Quite frankly, it’s the increased presence of fentanyl in our community. The ability for people to buy it and access it, and that is what’s creating a lot of our overdoses at the time and it’s quite concerning for us,” Rae said.
Addictions counsellor Regina Rand Teed says he’s not surprised by the recent spike in overdoses.
“There’s an increase in fentanyl showing up in all sorts of things around the city. We’ve had a number of people go and buy something that isn’t typically an opioid, either cocaine or MDMA and end up with fentanyl in it,” Teed said. “That drug which is extremely dangerous is leaking into the drug supply at a very rapid rate.”
The Regina Police Service is urging the public access to Naloxone kits, and to seek medical attention if someone is experiencing a drug overdose.
The Drug Overdose Good Samaritan Act protects people from facing drug charges should they seek help for an overdose. More information can be found here.
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