3 possible fentanyl overdoses reported in Winnipeg on weekend, police say
Man and woman found unconscious in vehicle early Sunday morning
"We don't often talk about medical-related incidents but … we're talking about the potential of three individuals losing their lives," Const. Jason Michalyshen told reporters on Monday.
Police say patrol officers found a 55-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman unconscious and "possibly suffering from a fentanyl-related overdose" inside a vehicle near the 1300 block of Main Street at around 4:10 a.m. Sunday. Paramedics revived the pair and took them to hospital.
A third person, a 27-year-old man who was found walking nearby, was also taken to hospital.
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All three people are currently listed in stable condition, said Michalyshen, who added it was a "very scary scenario" when officers found the two unconscious people in the vehicle.
"Our members, when they attended to the vehicle after being flagged down, they couldn't wake [them] up or get any sort of response from these two individuals," he said.
Police said they are still trying to determine what drugs were involved in the overdoses.
"One of the possible substances is fentanyl. However, further testing is required and ongoing," Michalyshen said.
Michalyshen said paramedics have access to naloxone, a known opiate blocker and overdose-reversing drug. However, he could not say whether it was used in this case because that detail is private health information.
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He said while police are not trying to scare anyone, people need to talk about the risks related to the illicit use of fentanyl and other drugs.
"I think it's important that these conversations continue and, again, we're not about to make examples of these individuals, [but] prevent this from happening to anyone else in the future," he said.
"If there are individuals who are engaging in this type of hazardous behaviour, we hope maybe this is that wake-up call for them."
Anyone who sees someone experiencing an overdose is urged to call 911 and perform "rescue breaths" if the person isn't breathing.