Regina police don’t plan to join other Saskatchewan police services asking people to turn in potentially tainted drugs.
Police in Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Weyburn have offered amnesties after fentanyl-laced cocaine was found in their communities.
Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said crystal meth remains the city’s top issue when it comes to the drug problem.
“However, we know that a lot of times there’s a combination of drugs, so you might think you’re getting meth, you might think you’re getting cocaine, but you don’t know what else is mixed in there.”
He said dealers may mix their drugs with all manner of chemicals, including fentanyl.
“They’ll put cutting agents in there and sometimes it’s something that can be very very dangerous. So again, I mean clearly — the best choice is not to do drugs.”
Chief Bray said Regina aren’t offering a drug amnesty but they’re “desperately urging people to be careful” when it comes to the laced drug. He added overdoses are still an issue in the Queen City and that it’s something his officers deal with on a daily basis.
Bray confirmed police are investigating instances of the drug being found in the city not just within the last week, but within the last year.
He said a number of factors play into how the drug can affect a person.
“Whether or not (fentanyl has) resulted in an overdose —again, sometimes it’s not about that drug but it’s in combination with what else that person has consumed that day,” he said. “The alcohol that they’ve drank, even just their physical health.”
The chief said he was open to revisiting the idea of a drug amnesty – but didn’t expect to anytime soon.
“I guess it’s one tool in the tool box and because if you know you have a shipment of drugs that came into your community and people are having serious consequences — perhaps even death from using those drugs — you want to try and get them off the street no questions asked,” he said.
For now though, Bray said Regina police weren’t seeing the same issue with fentanyl-tainted cocaine as other police services.
“The problem is, we don’t necessarily have that and I don’t know the uptake of us just throwing open the front doors and saying, ‘come on in and turn over your drugs to us, no questions asked.’… If we had evidence of that, might that be something we consider? Yes.”
—With files from Britton Gray