Saskatoon police say two deadly drugs have been found in the city for the first time.
The first instance was on March 25 when a woman was found in possession of 2.7 grams of an unknown substance while in police detention.
An analysis determined the substance contained methoxyacetylfentanyl, along with heroin, fentanyl and caffeine.
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Police said the presence of methoxyacetylfentanyl is new to Saskatoon and poses an even greater risk to public safety.
Methoxyacetylfentanyl is similar to fentanyl and can potentially cause serious respiratory depression which can be life-threatening.
Tests earlier in May from another seizure found the drug in question to be dimenthyltryptamine (DMT), an extremely dangerous hallucinogen, which was laced with fentanyl.
Saskatoon police and the Saskatchewan Health Authority are pleading with people not to take illegal drugs.
“We can’t stress enough the dangers of what is going on in the community with the unknown substances,” said Tracy Muggli, the health authority’s co-director of mental health and addiction services for Saskatoon.
“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,” added Insp. Dale Solie, who is in charge of the Saskatoon integrated drug enforcement street team.
The Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals recently made an administrative bylaw change which will allow naloxone to be more widely available.
Take home naloxone kits are able to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose when administered properly.
“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,” Muggli said.
“But if there was a presence of an opioid, naloxone could make the difference.”