RCMP seek help for Yorkton-area pill problems

Police trying to come to grips with prescription drug problems in the Yorkton, Sask. area are looking for help.

Police trying to come to grips with prescription drug problems in the Yorkton area are looking for help.

They've been meeting with groups representing doctors, pharmacists and First Nations, trying to come up with a strategy.

Twenty-three people from Yorkton, various surrounding towns and five First Nations have been arrested in recent weeks in connection with an alleged prescription drug dealing ring. Most of them are accused of trafficking pills, although there is also one cocaine charge.

It's alleged people are getting opiates and other prescription pills through "double doctoring," where multiple prescriptions are obtained by individuals who visit several communities.

RCMP spokesmen have also said that in the past year, they've received calls about addictions, overdoses and even drug-related suicides in Yorkton, Kamsack and surrounding areas.  

On Feb. 15, people from various groups representing health agencies, pharmacists, doctors and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations met in Yorkton to talk about the situation.

They're setting up a working group to look into possible solutions and will meet again in April, the RCMP said. Meanwhile, some of the people who've been charged appeared in court this week and will be back in court March 15 in Kamsack and Yorkton.