In Alberta, two men and one woman are facing drug charges following the deaths of two people on the Blood reserve. News sources indicate that the decedents, who were found at a home in Standoff on March 20, are believed to have overdosed on a potent batch of illegal fentanyl. Sources say that two additional people were taken to hospital in connection with the incident. At press time, information regarding their condition is not available.
Illegally produced fentanyl has reportedly been linked to more than 100 deaths in the southern reserve in 2014, and police indicate that more than 88,000 pills were seized in surrounding communities from April 2014 through March 2015. Unlike fentanyl that is produced legally for pharmaceutical use, the illegal version of the drug, which can be stronger and more toxic than morphine, is created in covert drug labs and sold on the street in pill or powder form. Sources report that some fentanyl buyers may be led to believe that they are purchasing heroin or OxyContin.