Editor’s note: The Saskatoon Police Service said a substance described as “pink meth” was determined through testing to be fentanyl. This story has been updated to reflect this information.
Saskatoon’s supervised consumption site has issued a warning after its staff administered a staggering amount of naloxone on someone who overdosed.
Prairie Harm Reduction (PHR) executive director Jason Mercredi said a client overdosed Thursday afternoon after injecting what they believed was pink crystal meth.
It took CPR and 27 shots of naloxone to revive them, Mercredi said.
“Twenty-seven shots is the highest we’ve ever done. It’s a little nuts,” Mercredi said in an interview on Friday.
Saskatoon police said they were alerted Friday of an overdose, where the victim said they consumed pink meth. Police seized the drug for testing.
“That testing just revealed that the substance was in fact fentanyl, not meth,” SPS spokesperson Kelsie Fraser said in an email on Friday evening.
“Our drug unit has not seen or heard of pink meth being marketed in our community.”
Fatal overdoses have skyrocketed in Saskatchewan. As of April 6, there have been 25 confirmed and 78 suspected overdose deaths, according to the Saskatchewan coroners service.
Thursday’s life-saving intervention proves supervised consumption sites are needed, Mercredi said.
PHR’s requests for $1.3 million to operate the supervised consumption site around the clock have been twice denied by the provincial government. Dozens of local businesses and organizations are fundraising for PHR to fill the gap.
“The fact that non-profits are fundraising for us shows that the community understands this need is there,” Mercredi said. “It’s just basically the elected officials that are the only ones who don’t seem to get that this site is needed.”
The site is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Mercredi said he hopes PHR can use community donations to expand its hours in the months ahead.