Saskatchewan

Police not identifying Regina neighbourhood where cluster of fatal overdoses happened

Regina Police will not identify the neighbourhood where a cluster of overdoses took the lives of four people in a six-hour span on Thursday.

Deaths happened within blocks and hours of each other

Six people died of drug overdoses between July 1 and July 2. (CBC)

Regina Police will not identify the neighbourhood where four people fatally overdosed in a six-hour span on Thursday.

Six people died of drug overdoses between midnight on Wednesday and 11 a.m. CST on Thursday. A seventh person overdosed but survived.

A police spokesperson said the neighbourhood will not be identified because they don't want to cast it in a negative light.

On Friday, police offered a timeline of the overdose calls.

  • July 1, 12:25 a.m. 49-year-old man. He dies.
  • July 2, 12:39 a.m. 33-year-old female. She dies.
  • July 2, 12:50 a.m. 42-year-old male. He dies.
  • July 2, 3 a.m. 54-year-old male. He dies.
  • July 2, 5:45 a.m. Overdose reported; person survives.
  • July 2, 6 a.m. 63-year-old male. He dies.
  • July 2, 11 a.m. 50-year-old male. He dies.

Police said it's too soon to say exactly what drugs the people were taking or where they got them.

But spokesperson Les Parker said officers reached out to the specific neighbourhood as the people began dying.

"I know that there was discussions with the community, basically warning them that there was fatal drugs being trafficked at the time," he said Friday.

Parker said that the cluster of four deaths between 12:39 a.m. and 6 a.m. happened only blocks apart.

There was no formal news release about this string of fatalities until six hours later.

Parker said he was not aware of any formal protocol, similar to an Amber Alert, that could be used to alert the general public when police are confronted with multiple fatal overdoses in a short period of time.

In Saskatoon, police issued a detailed public advisory in March 2018 when four people died after ingesting cocaine mixed with fentanyl. It contained locations of where the people overdosed, the times of the overdoses and a cell number that the individuals had used to contact a dealer selling the lethal mix.

The ambulance service in Regina is operated by the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region of the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Spokesperson Lisa Thomson said in an email that any news releases or advisories would come from the Regina Police Service.

About the Author

Dan Zakreski is a reporter for CBC Saskatoon.

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