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Extreme naloxone revival prompts drug warning in Saskatoon

Click to play video: 'Extreme naloxone revival prompts drug warning in Saskatoon' Extreme naloxone revival prompts drug warning in Saskatoon
WATCH: Saskatoon police say a drug reported to be pink crystal meth turned out to be fentanyl – Apr 16, 2021

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.

Read more: Saskatchewan government denies new funding for supervised consumption site

“Twenty-seven shots is the highest we’ve ever done. It’s a little nuts,” Mercredi said in an interview on Friday.

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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.”

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon’s crystal meth response plan hampered by COVID-19 pandemic' Saskatoon’s crystal meth response plan hampered by COVID-19 pandemic
Saskatoon’s crystal meth response plan hampered by COVID-19 pandemic – Jan 29, 2021

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.

Read more: Saskatoon small businesses donate to supervised consumption site

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“We’re able to do more than… just stop people from dying. Now we’re starting on case management with [the client who overdosed],” 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.

Click to play video: 'Unanswered distress calls: Overdose response requires political will, community members say' Unanswered distress calls: Overdose response requires political will, community members say
Unanswered distress calls: Overdose response requires political will, community members say – Oct 8, 2020

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