Canada | Health | Law

Blood Tribe combats rise in abuse of extremely dangerous drug

Members of the Blood Tribe participated in anti-drug rally in January. Photo from Blood Tribe Chief & Council / Facebook

In just the past six months, the Blood Tribe of Alberta has seen 20 deaths and 60 overdoses from a dangerous drug known on the street as Oxy 80.

The drug is an illicit version of fentanyl, a powerful painkiller. Abuse has been so prevalent that the tribe declared a state of emergency in March.

"This is my community. Every single death affects me personally," Dr. Susan Christenson, a tribal member, told CBC News.

With the tribe's support, Christenson has distributed kits for Naloxone, an anti-overdose drug, throughout the reserve. She also has a license to prescribe Suboxone, which can be used to treat addiction.

The tribal police force is also closely focusing on the issue. Three people were charged in March in connection with drug overdose deaths.

Get the Story:
Blood Tribe looks to tackle fentanyl crisis on southern Alberta reserve (CBC 5/27)

Related Stories:
Tribes turn to banishment as means to address problem issues (04/21)
Blood Tribe charges three in response to drug overdose deaths (03/24)
Blood Tribe confirms 16 fatal overdoses from dangerous drug (3/23)
Blood Tribe declares emergency in response to drug problems (03/06)
Blood Tribe police form task force in response to drug problems (01/20)