Nova Scotia

Valley woman dies from methadone overdose

A 20-year-old Greenwood woman died Thursday after overdosing on methadone.
Katanna MacDonald, 20, died Thursday after overdosing on methadone Monday. (Facebook)

A 20-year-old Greenwood woman died Thursday after overdosing on methadone.

"I'm hurting but angry at the same time. How could this happen? How can our system fail us like that?" questioned Jim MacDonald, who was called home from his oil field job out west this week upon hearing of his daughter Katanna's overdose.

Katanna MacDonald overdosed in Greenwood on Monday morning, and was rushed to Valley Regional Hospital. Her body was so badly damaged she was kept alive by a machine.

"Methadone overdose and we had to pull the plug," Jim MacDonald said. "It was very hard to make that decision."

Methadone is used to treat opiate addicts, and in most cases taken in front of a witness, but some patients are allowed to carry the methadone away.

That upsets Jim MacDonald.

"They are giving this to known drug addicts and they are taking it down the street and ... obviously they are selling it because that's how my daughter got it. This has got to stop. Somebody has got to be held responsible."

Several people have died in prescription overdoses in the Valley since 2010.

RCMP issued a release Friday saying the death is being investigated.

"Our investigation will be to determine where there is unexplained circumstance or any criminal activity involved in the death," said Const. Blair MacMurtery.

Jim MacDonald says someone has be be held accountable in his daughter's death. (CBC)

While police investigate, local MLA Leo Glavine is calling for much tighter controls on methadone, which in the Valley is dispensed from a hospital in Kentville and a clinic in Wolfville.

"In the private clinic in Wolfville, there are 300-400 patients there who are receiving methadone. That's a lot of methadone. I think the time has come unless have more tragedies in the valley," Glavine said.

The clinic did not respond to CBC's requests for information.

Jim MacDonald is now planning his daughter's funeral.

"If we don't stop it soon, there's probably going to be another family in this close vicinity that will experience what I did and I hope that never happens," he said.

The Valley Regional Hospital says methadone is a popular street drug but warned it can be lethal.