Southern Alberta First Nation declares emergency after spike in drug overdoses
STAND OFF, Alta. — A spike in drug overdoses has prompted a First Nation in southern Alberta to declare a state of local emergency.
The Blood Tribe says it has dealt with at least 30 overdoses in the last seven days, including at least one death.
Indigenous leaders say they need more money from the federal and Alberta governments to pay for overtime and other costs.
The First Nation says it has received more than 200 naloxone kits and held training sessions this past weekend on how to use them to prevent overdoses.
In nearby Lethbridge there have been more than 50 overdoses in the last 10 days linked to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.
The call for help last Friday came on the same day a police organized crime unit announced the arrest of five people on drug charges following an investigation in the region.
Police say at least one of the suspects is a member of a gang called the Mad Cowz.
Officers say they seized fentanyl pills, carfentanil, crack cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs.
Corey Amyotte, Harmeet Singh Bhachu, Brittany Bird, Tara Gearo and Coral Olivos face drug and other charges. (Lethbridge News Now)
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