Effective July 11, 2021, Saskatchewan entered Step Three of the Re-Opening Roadmap and the public health order relative to COVID-19 was lifted. All restrictions related to the public health order were removed as of that date.

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Chief Coroner Raises Public Safety Concern

Released on March 4, 2021

The Saskatchewan Coroners Service is urging increased awareness of the danger of illicit street drugs following four suspected drug-related deaths in Regina since February 14.

Preliminary toxicology in these deaths indicates high levels of Xylazine in combination with fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl and methamphetamine.

“This is a fatal combination,” Chief Coroner Clive Weighill said.  “Anyone who uses street drugs like these is at a much higher risk of overdose, especially when they are combining drugs like these together.”

Xylazine is typically used by veterinarians to sedate large animals.  Its effects include central nervous system depression, blurred vision, disorientation, dizziness and drowsiness.  When Xylazine and opioids are combined risks include respiratory depression causing slowed breathing and dangerously lowered blood pressure and heart rate.

Saskatchewan residents who are at risk of an opioid overdose or who might witness an opioid overdose - such as friends and family of people who use opioids - can receive a free Take Home Naloxone kit alongside training on how to use it.  Visit www.saskatchewan.ca/opioids or call HealthLine 811 to find a Take Home Naloxone Program near you.

In an overdose situation, naloxone would not be effective against Xylazine, which is not an opioid, but it may reverse the effects of opioid(s) that are present along with Xylazine.

Naloxone typically reverses the effects of an opioid overdose temporarily, restoring breathing in a few minutes.  Naloxone treatment does not replace the need to seek immediate medical attention.  Call 911 immediately if you suspect an overdose.

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For more information, contact:

Margherita Vittorelli
Justice and Attorney General
Regina
Phone: 306-787-8621
Email: margherita.vittorelli@gov.sk.ca

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