Saskatoon Police are continuing to seize drugs which are found to contain several potentially lethal substances.
Following an arrest on March 25, 2018, a woman was found to be in possession of 2.7 grams of an unknown substance while in the detention area. Drug analysis has found the substance to contain something known as Methoxyacetylfentanyl, along with heroin, fentanyl and caffeine. The presence of Methoxyacetylfentanyl is new to Saskatoon and presents an even greater risk to public safety. Earlier this month tests following another seizure found the substance Dimenthyltryptamine (DMT), which is an extremely dangerous hallucinogen, laced with fentanyl. Both methoxyacetylfentanyl and fentanyl are deadly opioids.
The SPS and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) continue to warn the public about the dangers of ingesting unknown substances. “You may think you know what you are taking, but unless it is prescribed by a doctor or dispensed by a pharmacist, it could contain a variety of potentially deadly substances,” said Dale Solie, Inspector in charge of the Saskatoon Integrated Drug Enforcement Street Team.
“We can’t stress enough the dangers of what is going on in the community with the unknown substances,” said Tracy Muggli, Saskatchewan Health Authority’s co-Director of Mental Health and Addictions Services in Saskatoon. “The Take Home Naloxone (THN) program has expanded to provide free THN kits to people who may witness an overdose, including friends and family members of those at risk. When administered properly, it can rapidly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. It can be used in those situations where an overdose has occurred and you aren’t sure about the substance that has been used. Naloxone will not cause harm, if in the end, the substances were not laced with an opioid. But if there was a presence of an opioid, naloxone could make the difference.”
THN kits, education and training are currently available through the SHA. The THN program is now established in 17 communities across Saskatchewan, including Saskatoon, Regina, North Battleford, Kamsack, Yorkton, Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Estevan, Kindersley, Buffalo Narrows, Swift Current, Melfort, Nipawin Tisdale, Meadow Lake and Lloydminster.
In Saskatoon, and across Saskatchewan, there are pharmacies who also have the kits available for purchase. There is no prescription required to purchase a THN kit.
In the coming weeks, residents wanting a THN kit will also have more options for accessing those kits. The Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals has made a recent administrative bylaw change to allow the drug naloxone to be more widely available.
For more information on where to access these kits in Saskatoon, please contact Mental Health and Addictions Services with the Saskatchewan Health Authority at 306-655-4007.
Police and the Saskatchewan Health Authority continue to advise the public that any drug that is not prescribed by a doctor or dispensed by a pharmacist can pose a serious risk of injury or death. Anyone witnessing a possible opioid overdose should immediately call 911.
For more information about opioids and resources available, visit: www.saskatchewan.ca/opioids.