Counterfeit OxyContin may be behind two recent deaths in Kindersley, RCMP say.

Mounties have been called to three suspected drug overdoses within the last month in the west-central Saskatchewan town. Two of the three possible overdoses resulted in death, according to Cpl. Daniel Archibald.

Investigators are still waiting on toxicology reports, but at this point, police suspect fentanyl pills — or counterfeit OxyContin pills — are behind the deaths.

“That’s the belief. We can’t confirm or deny that,” said Archibald.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is often given as a skin patch to cancer patients in severe pain. Drug dealers working in illegal labs have begun adding it to other powders and pills, such as fake OxyContin, cocaine and heroin, to boost their potency.

The drug is quick-acting and 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, and has been linked to dozens of deaths across Canada over the last few years.

“It’s very concerning,” said Archibald, noting recent deaths in western Canada.

No arrests have been made in relation to the Kindersley deaths, he said.

“Obviously we are working to try to find the source of where the drugs are coming from.”

Some counterfeit OxyContin pills linked to past overdose deaths have appeared green in colour, but according to Kindersley RCMP, the pills can come in a variety of colours.

Any drug that is not prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a pharmacist poses a serious risk of injury or death, RCMP warn.

--- with files from