SASKATOON – Police are issuing another alarm over fake OxyContin on Saskatoon streets. Officials say they continue to see overdoses they believe to have been caused by the consumption of counterfeit OxyContin containing Fentanyl.
MD Ambulance said they responded to seven opioid overdoses during one June night.
It’s the same situation elsewhere in Western Canada.
Vancouver police sounded another warning after six people overdosed in a one-hour period Sunday night that may be linked to Fentanyl.
Fentanyl has been linked to more than 100 deaths in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia in 2014.
What is worrisome for Saskatoon police is the lack of quality control. Police say every batch made in a clandestine lab may vary in strength and potency.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid or painkiller that is similar to heroin but experts say it’s 50 to 100 times more toxic than other narcotics.
Also troubling for investigators is the colour of the pills. In the past, the pills have been green in colour; now they may come in any colour making it impossible to distinguish between true OxyContin and counterfeit drugs.
Police continue to warn that any drug taken that has not been prescribed by a doctor, or dispensed by a pharmacist, poses a very serious risk of injury or death.
With files from Meaghan Craig