Emergency crews responded to five drug overdoses within 30 hours in Saskatoon on Friday and Saturday, according to police.
One of those overdoses caused death, and four were the result of alleged illicit drug use.
Supt. Dave Haye said Saskatoon police are also investigating four previously reported drug overdose calls that occurred after Sept. 8.
Police say they are not sure why the city is seeing a sudden spike in drug overdoses.
“It’s something that’s out of the ordinary,” Haye said.
Haye said both fentanyl and heroin are believed to be the drugs involved, and that police received calls from across the city, not from any particular neighbourhood.
“The information we have is very primary over the weekend,” he said. “We brought an analyst in to review the files. The files will be assigned to our drug unit except for the death, which will remain with the major crimes section. We’ll conduct our investigations with the hope of identifying the people who were trafficking.”
Police said they are not sure if some of the drugs in circulation could be contaminated but they do believe the overdose victims knew the drugs they thought they were taking.
Naloxone was used in several of the overdose cases, including in the overdose causing death.
Jason Mercredi with AIDS Saskatoon is calling this the “new normal,” adding these cases demonstrate why a safe consumption site in Saskatoon is needed.
“It’s clear from this past weekend that we need a site and instead we’re spending countless money on policing and EMS,” he said. “I am guessing if the tab were to get added up from this weekend it would easily pay for a safe consumption site.”
The Saskatoon Police Service is now issuing an advisory that “any drug taken which has not been prescribed by a doctor, or dispensed by a pharmacist, poses a very serious risk of injury or death.”
Anyone with information on the overdoses is asked to contact the Saskatoon Police Service at 306-975-8300 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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