Saskatchewan government looks for bipartisan solution to drug overdoses

Click to play video: 'Weyburn is the latest Saskatchewan community fighting fentanyl' Weyburn is the latest Saskatchewan community fighting fentanyl
WATCH ABOVE: Weyburn Police warned residents on social media about the possibility of fentanyl-laced cocaine. Police are offering drug amnesty for anyone wanting to turn in suspected cocaine – Mar 19, 2018

Saskatchewan’s premier says a rash of drug overdoses in the province is an issue both the government and Opposition can work on together.

Premier Scott Moe said a recent spike in cocaine laced with fentanyl isn’t just an urban issue, it extends to smaller communities too.

READ MORE: Weyburn Police Service warning public about cocaine laced with fentanyl

“This will not be dealt with just through law enforcement,” Moe said during Monday’s question period. “The leader of the Opposition is correct and we need to continually work.

“This may be an opportunity where both sides of the house would be able to do some work together.”

Three people died in Saskatoon earlier this month in overdoses believed to be linked to cocaine laced with fentanyl.

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Police said on Friday that two more sudden deaths in Maidstone, a rural Saskatchewan community near the Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary, may also be overdoses.

And the RCMP said that two people were found in the Kamsack area northeast of Regina on Wednesday with substances believed to be cocaine and fentanyl in their systems.

WATCH: Weyburn is the latest Saskatchewan community fighting fentanyl

Click to play video: 'Weyburn is the latest Saskatchewan community fighting fentanyl' Weyburn is the latest Saskatchewan community fighting fentanyl
Weyburn is the latest Saskatchewan community fighting fentanyl – Mar 19, 2018

On Saturday, Weyburn police warned that cocaine with fentanyl had been found in that city.

“I’m not aware that Saskatoon has actually had any turned in, and we’ve not had any questions since Saturday about turning anything in,” Weyburn police deputy Chief Rod Stafford said on Monday.

“I don’t really suspect we will have anything turned in, but we wanted to make sure that people were aware that they could, without fear of arrest or prosecution.”

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Three men were arrested as a result of the Saskatoon deaths after investigators took the unusual step of releasing the street name and phone number of an alleged drug dealer in the hope of preventing further deaths.

READ MORE: Third overdose death in Saskatoon from suspected fentanyl-laced cocaine

The Opposition NDP raised the issue of Naloxone kits being limited to pharmacies along with limited use of Narcan nasal spray in the province.

“One of the things we talked about was a harm reduction measure … (like) having the Narcan nasal spray available,” Sask. NDP Leader Ryan Meili said.

“(Narcan is) a Canadian-made drug that sort of immediately overturns the effects of an overdose and is much easier to use than Naloxone.”

Moe said his government would take those points under advisement.

“I think it’s important for us to have that discussion on: Is there an opportunity for us to provide more accessibility to just those kits in light of recent occurrences here in the province?” Moe said.

With files from Global’s Colton Praill

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