Pubdate: Wed, 23 Aug 2017
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network
Author: Meghan Potkins
Page: A9


Alberta's justice minister says the province's law enforcement
communities are having to "constantly" adapt in their efforts to
combat the evolving methods of illicit drug manufacturers.

Following news that health workers have found possible fentanyl-laced
stickers in Calgary and Edmonton, Kathleen Ganley told reporters that
police are doing a "very good job" of staying on top of emerging drug

That vigilance on the part of authorities is key, Ganley

"It's like this with most types of drugs, they're sort of constantly
adapting to continue to try to keep those hidden and we're having to
constantly adapt to continue to try to find those. We'll continue to
use intelligence to move forward."

An emergency room physician and a Calgary paramedic sounded the alarm
on social media over the stickers that were found on patients
suffering from suspected drug overdoses. The colourful stickers were
found in the pocket of one Calgary patient suffering from a suspected
opioid overdose, who had "abnormally coloured saliva."

Tests have not yet been conducted to confirm the presence of fentanyl
or other drugs in the stickers. Authorities ask that anyone who comes
across the stickers to surrender them to Calgary police or RCMP for

Dr. Mark Yarema, medical director of Alberta Health Services poison
and drug information service, told Postmedia on Monday that after
eight years on the job, he's no longer surprised by the inventiveness
of illicit drug manufactures.

"It would be really interesting to know, from the supply side, what
the motivation is and really get into the minds of the people that are
making this stuff," Yarema said.

"We've lived through (tainted ecstasy) and we'll survive through
fentanyl, it's really just a matter of what's next."

Newly released numbers from the province show 241 Albertans died from
fentanyl in the first six months of 2017. That's a 54-percent increase
compared with the same period last year.
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