Police say Regina has had 99 apparent overdose deaths so far this year

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Derivatives of drugs that are similar to fentanyl do not respond to Narcan the same way. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC - image credit)
Derivatives of drugs that are similar to fentanyl do not respond to Narcan the same way. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC - image credit)

Regina is on pace to set a grim record.

The city's Board of Police Commissioners heard at a meeting Tuesday that this year is likely to see more than the 111 deaths that were the result of apparent overdoses reported by police in 2020.

Police Chief Evan Bray reported that there have already been 99 such deaths this year, according to data from the police force — 27 of them since the previous report came out in July. Sixty-six per cent of the overdoses have occurred in Central Regina, according to police.

Bray said these numbers can be attributed to new types of drugs that may resemble fentanyl but do not respond to Narcan in the same way. This affects the ability of emergency responders to minimize the harm of the drugs.

Officers have used Narcan, a nasal spray that can counteract the effects of an opioid overdose, at 20 scenes. They have also carried out 884 drug seizure operations.

Police say that as of September they've received 1,263 reports of overdoses. The force has been able to attend 235 of them.

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