Two near-fatal overdoses in Regina courthouse call attention to dangers of drugs in jails and remand centers. Two women scheduled to appear in court at the provincial courthouse never made it. They were given medical care for a possibility of overdosing from opioid.
According to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Justice, Drew Wilby, something was wrong with the two women inside their cells. They immediately provided life saving measures such as first aid and CPR and they were revived. The women were inmates at the White Birch Remand Unit. Paramedics brought them to the hospital for further treatment and were release later. The naloxone nasal spray a medication that is used to reverse overdoses of opioid was not used in the incident.
This incident was not the first time that happened at the courthouse. In the past years three men were held in custody in cells at the Regina courthouse when they showed signs of being overdosed. Paramedics responded to the area and immediately provided first aid and CPR to the men and they survived. A 20 year old Regina man was charged later with drug trafficking in connection with the incident. According to the Regina Police, the accused was present before the incident and he made a hand-to-hand exchange with two of the three men. These men showed sign of overdose afterward. The Regina man is also charged with heroin trafficking.
Lethal drugs in a courthouse are issues for public safety, and people who are desperate for the drugs will find a way to get them in. there are factors that cause drug trade among inmates such as being addicted to the activities of the gang and searching for simple profit.
According to Wilby, a body scanner will be placed in the Regina jail to stop smuggling of drugs inside the vicinity. If successful, scanners will also be implemented at other correctional facilities in other provinces.
People in jail are considered one of the at-risk groups of people usually affected by opioid crisis. These people have history of substance abuse and other factors. They might have days of abstinence and if they use drugs again even for a few days, the lower tolerance of the body can result to accidentally overdose.
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