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Saskatchewan provides test strips to check drugs at overdose prevention sites


August 3, 2021
By Canadian Press

Aug. 3, 2021 – Saskatchewan says it is providing test strips that can check drugs for toxic substances at overdose prevention sites in Regina and Saskatoon.

The strips can test for the presence of fentanyl and benzodiazepine in street drugs.

Fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more toxic than other opioids, cannot be detected by sight, smell or taste.

Saskatchewan Health says 66 per cent of confirmed overdose deaths in the province so far this year involved fentanyl.

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The test strips will now be available to clients at the Newo-Yotina Friendship Centre in Regina and Prairie Harm Reduction in Saskatoon.

Jason Mercredi, who is executive director of Prairie Harm Reduction, says the test strips will help the organization notify the community about tainted street drugs in real time.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 3, 2021.