A file photo of the Hay River RCMP detachment in August 2019. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
RCMP say officers seized 65 grams of what they suspect is fentanyl at a home in Hay River over the weekend.
In a Tuesday news release, RCMP said officers executed a warrant on the residence on Sunday, as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged possession and sale of fentanyl in the community.
At the home, police said, officers recovered the suspected illicit substance among “various other items.”
Police said a man and a woman have been arrested and charges are pending. Their names have not been publicly released.
RCMP said they had previously responded to two suspected overdoses at the home.
The first incident occurred at around 9pm on September 22, when RCMP said they responded to a call that a woman was overdosing on fentanyl. RCMP said officers administered four doses of Narcan to the woman before she regained consciousness and emergency responders took her to hospital.
Around five hours later, just before 2am on September 23, police said they received another call that a man was overdosing at the home. RCMP said when they arrived, they determined other people in the residence had administered naloxone. The man was also taken to hospital.
The NWT’s chief coroner, Garth Eggenberger, said during a press conference in January that six opioid toxicity deaths occurred in the NWT in 2022, all of them in Hay River.
Dr Kami Kandola, the territory’s chief public health officer, said five of those deaths were a direct result of fentanyl or carfentanil, while the substances were a contributing factor in the sixth death. Eggenberger said in each of those cases, the person was using drugs alone and did not have naloxone with them.
In the case of a suspected overdose, it is recommended that people call an ambulance or their local health centre. The federal Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act prevents people involved in an overdose from being charged with drug possession.
Naloxone is a fast-acting drug that temporarily reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Naloxone kits are available for free at all health centres and pharmacies in the NWT.