The new provincial “Drug Alert System” was launched today.
Regina Mayor Sandra Masters was flanked by the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Tim McLeod, as well as representatives from the Coroner’s Service, Regina Fire, Saskatoon Fire as well as police from both cities.
“The goal of drug alerts is to increase awareness of the dangers of illicit drugs and the presence of other toxic substances that further increase the risk of overdose and death,” Mental Health and Addictions Minister Tim McLeod said. “An important part of our message to people who have yet to walk the path to recovery is that there is hope for recovery, and there is help available through treatment.”
The idea is to get warning information into the hands of the people who are using illicit drugs. That will be done through text, email, and through the “Alertable” App. Anyone can sign up to receive alerts from this system.
The goal is to prevent overdoses, or other problems because of tainted drugs.
Drug alerts will be issued by the Ministry of Health based on information provided from partner organizations such as the Saskatchewan Coroners Service, Regina and Saskatoon fire services, and drug checking sites in Saskatoon and Regina.
Alerts are issued when partners report to the Ministry of Health the following situations:
- more than expected number of individuals seen by paramedic or in hospital with an overdose over a short period of time;
- multiple severe outcomes (ICU admissions, deaths) over a short period of time;
- multiple overdoses in persons who use or live in the same area or location or who report use of a common substance;
- overdoses that are difficult to reverse with naloxone; and
- concerning substances in circulation that are causing harm or death or with the potential to cause harm or death.
Signup information is available at saskatchewan.ca/drug-alerts or text JOIN to 1-833-35-B-SAFE (352-7233).