'They thought they were just taking heroin': experts say fentanyl education still needed in Regina
Naloxone kits have become more popular
Although fentanyl overdoses haven't reached crisis level in Regina, some addiction treatment experts are encouraging residents to educate themselves about the dangers of drug use to help prevent numbers from increasing.
Troy Neiszner, manager of the addiction treatment centre for the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region, said people don't realize fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs.
"They thought they were just taking heroin but obviously there was something else in it," Neiszner told CBC Radio's The Morning Edition on Monday. "They are coming in and indicating that they didn't know."
He said naloxone kits have become more popular in the last year, but people still need to educate themselves about the risks involved with drug use of any kind.
RQHR director of emergency and EMS Glen Perchie's team administers the drug, which is a medication that blocks the effects of opioids. He said fentanyl is a problem but it isn't causing a crisis in Regina yet.
"(Fentanyl) is a really small component of what we're responding to right now," said Perchie.
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According to RQHR from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31 of this year, EMS responded to 17,431 calls. Forty-eight of those cases involved fentanyl overdoses and required naloxone.
With files from The Morning Edition