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Fort Resolution, N.W.T., woman overdoses on crack, fentanyl

Stephanie McNeely says she’s grateful to be alive after overdosing on crack and fentanyl, and is sharing her story to warn young people about the danger of drugs.

'The medevac team said that I stopped breathing,' says Stephanie McNeely

Stephanie McNeely nearly died last week in Fort Resolution, N.W.T., when she overdosed after mixing crack cocaine and fentanyl. She stopped breathing during the medevac flight to Yellowknife. (CBC)

A woman from Fort Resolution, N.W.T., says she's grateful to be alive after a drug overdose, and now she's sharing her story to warn young people about the danger of drugs.

Stephanie McNeely nearly died when she overdosed after mixing crack cocaine with the prescription narcotic fentanyl — a drug that's been linked to hundreds of deaths in Canada in recent years.

McNeely, 30, went on an all-night binge in the community last week.

"The people that I was sitting with said I just collapsed and started having a seizure," McNeely says.

"She was on the floor," says Kim Giroux, McNeely's cousin. "She wasn't conscious, but she was going through seizures like every 30 seconds or so."

"It was pretty disturbing and pretty scary to see."

Medevac to Yellowknife

Giroux says she called the RCMP and helped transfer McNeely to the health centre. She was then medevaced to Yellowknife.

"The medevac team said that I stopped breathing from in between [Fort Resolution] to here. They had to revive me," McNeely says.

McNeely's aunt and uncle visited her at Yellowknife's Stanton Territorial Hospital. She's scheduled for a CT scan in Edmonton to assess the impact the drugs and the seizures had on her brain. (CBC)

She says the experience has been a wake-up call. The mother of four has been battling drug addiction for half of her life.

"I got kids of my own, and there's a lot of kids in [Fort Resolution] that are experimenting with drugs," McNeely says.

"I hope from what happened to me they can realize not to touch it, or now they know what the outcome is with doing drugs like that. It's not a game."

McNeely has been scheduled for a CT scan in Edmonton to assess the impact the drugs and the seizures had on her brain.

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