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AIDS Saskatoon urges cocaine users to get naloxone kits after fatal overdoses
Jason Mercredi, the executive director of AIDS Saskatoon, holds up a naloxone kit. (Angelina Irinici/CTV Saskatoon)
Published Tuesday, March 13, 2018 6:54PM CST
AIDS Saskatoon is encouraging people who use cocaine to get naloxone kits after two people died and four others overdosed on what police believe is cocaine laced with fentanyl.
The organization’s executive director says those who use cocaine may believe they are immune to drugs laced with opioids, but users should own a naloxone kit and be trained on how to use them.
“Just make it part of your standard party gear. You never know what it's going to be cut with,” Jason Mercredi told CTV News. “It’s just better to be safe than sorry.”
Naloxone can restore breathing to someone who overdoses on opioids. The kits are available in Saskatoon at the Mayfair Clinic or through the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
“We really do need to get people trained up so we can buy emergency responders enough time to get that person in and make sure that they are safe,” Mercredi says.
AIDS Saskatoon will drive people to get naloxone kits if needed. Drug users get the kits and training for free, but families and friends of users pay a surcharge between $30 and $40. AIDS Saskatoon will also pay the surcharge if finances are an issue.
In an unprecedented move, Saskatoon police issued a news release Sunday evening, advising anyone who has purchased cocaine from "Lil Joe" or "Joe Bro," or from someone with the number 306-881-7300, that the drug may be laced with fentanyl and may contain a lethal dose.
Police also asked anyone who bought cocaine from that person to turn it in with the promise no charges would be pursued against them.
As of Tuesday afternoon, police hadn’t received any cocaine from the public. Police also said there were no other overdoses in relation to the case.
Three men, ranging in age between 19 and 21 years old, were arrested. Two are from Calgary, one lives in Saskatoon and all are facing drug-related charges, according to court documents.