A Provincial Drug Alert System has been released to aid the Ministry of Health in monitoring the toxicity of illegal drugs across Saskatchewan.
The Drug Alert System is an initiative through the Saskatchewan Drug Task Force.
The SDTF is a collaborative effort that includes representatives from the RCMP, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and the Ministries of Health, Social Services, and Corrections, Policing, and Public Safety among others.
In a recent press release, Tim McLeod, the Minister of Mental Health and Addiction said, “The goal of drug alerts is to increase awareness of the dangers of illicit drugs and the presence of other toxic substances that further increase the risk of overdose and death.”
The new alerts are a means to reach at-risk people wherever they may be to warn them of potentially lethal substances in their area. It will continue to send out alerts from partnering agencies as well.
Drug Alerts are available to anyone through text, email, or the Alertable app.
Signup information is available at saskatchewan.ca/drug-alerts or text JOIN to 1-833-35-B-SAFE (352-7233).
Alerts will be issued through the new system when certain issues are reported to the Ministry of Health through partnering agencies.
Those issues include:
more overdoses involving intervention by paramedics, or in hospital in a short amount of time
more Intensive Care Unit admissions or deaths over a short period
repeated overdoses of people who reside in the same location or who report use of a common substance
overdoses that are difficult to reverse with naloxone
substances in circulation that have the potential to cause harm or death
This comes after the provincial government committed to adding at least 500 more spaces for addiction treatment, under the Action Plan for Mental Health and Addictions
A total of 168 spaces have already been announced including 26 post-treatment spaces at St. Joseph’s Addiction Recovery Centre in Estevan.
“An important part of our message to people who have yet to walk the path to recovery is that there is hope for recovery, and there is help available through treatment,” said McLeod.