Pubdate: Thu, 22 Dec 2016
Source: Sylvan Lake News (CN AB)
Copyright: Sylvan Lake News Ltd. 2016
Author: Jenna Swan


Around 40 parents and youth attended a recent community street drug
trends presentation at Fox Run School.

Organized by the Sylvan Lake RCMP the presentation aimed to equip
parents with skills to allow recognition of street drugs and
theparaphernalia associated with drug use.

Sylvan Lake RCMP School Resource Officer,Constable Michael Lee in
partnership with Constable Kevin Lintott of the Organized Crime and
Intelligence Unit out of the RCMP's Red Deer City Detachment provided
information to parents on various street drugs including cocaine,
heroine, marijuana,methamphetamine and MDMA. In addition, the officers
also touched on the impact fentanyl is having in North America and
Central Alberta.

Const. Lintott explained he has seen first hand how Fentanyl is
entering the country from black markets in China using internet
ordering. The officer detailed an investigative operation the Red Deer
unit conducted in which a controlled fentanyl order conducted by the
RCMP was successfully delivered using this method.

"When we first started seeing fentanyl in Canada it was being sold as
Oxy 80's [Oxycotin]," explained Const. Lintott. "Because of this,
pharmaceutical companies stopped producing 80 mg Oxycotin because of
the abuse. People turned around and began making these Fentanyl
tablets and selling them as Oxy's."

He added fentanyl is not only being sold as Oxycotin. The opiate is
being used a cutting agent in nearly every street drug as a means for
dealers to increase profit margins. Fentanyl is increasingly cheaper
than other street drugs, explained Lintott.

During the presentation, the officers played a video which showcased
how Fentanyl can be anywhere from 40-50 times more potent than street
quality heroine. A very small amount ingested or even absorbed through
the skin can be fatal detailed the video.

Alberta, like many provinces, has seen a rapid rise in
fentanyl-related overdose deaths over the past few years. According to
Alberta Health, from January to September of this year, 338 Albertans
died from an apparent drug overdose related to fentanyl or another
opioid. 193 of these deaths were related to fentanyl. This compares to
205 fentanyl-related deaths during the first nine months of 2015.

The majority of deaths, 89 per cent in 2016 and 83 per cent in 2015,
have occurred in larger urban centers. The rate of emergency
department visits in Alberta related to opioid use and substance
misuse increased by 84 per cent from the first quarter of 2014 to the
second quarter of 2016. This rise in fentanyl overdoses is part of a
pattern that has been seen across Canada.

In response to the fentanyl crisis across the province, Alberta Health
Services launched the Take Home Naloxone program. Naloxone can reverse
a fentanyl overdose long enough for some one whohas overdosed to be
taken to the hospital. You don't need a prescription for Naloxone and
it's free at nearly 900 registered sites across Alberta including both
Shoppers Drug Marts in Sylvan Lake.Naloxone can't be self
administered, therefore authorities suggest drug users never use
alone.Alberta Health Services advises any one who could come in
contact with fentanyl in their day to day should carry Naloxone.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt