3 dead of suspected overdoses in Drumheller, prompting warning from RCMP

WATCH: The town of Drumheller is dealing with the deaths of three young people as a result of suspected drug overdoses on Saturday. Now RCMP are saying an 18-year-old women on the Piikani First Nation may also be a victim of a suspected overdose. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, RCMP are warning the drugs could be laced with potent opioids.

Three people were found dead in a home in Drumheller on Saturday night, which has led local RCMP to issue a warning about possibly opioid-tainted drugs in the community.

According to the Mounties, officers and medical services were called to the home around 7:45 p.m. for reports of sudden deaths.

The RCMP said it is believed the three people died of overdoses from “drugs that may be laced with lethal quantities of opioid-related substances such as fentanyl, carfentanil or methamphetamines.”

The autopsies for a 21-year-old woman and a 27-year-old woman, both from Drumheller, and a 31-year-old man from Rosedale, Alta., are scheduled later this week at the Calgary office of the chief medical examiner.

Drumheller Mayor Heather Colberg called the tragedy heartbreaking, adding she knows one of the families involved.

“It’s such tragic news and difficult to hear because we’re such a small, close-knit community and many of us knew the kids or the parents and so it’s hard to wrap your head around,” she said Sunday.

“Our hearts go out to the families who are mourning right now because none of us can even imagine what it would be like. It’s just so, so sad.”

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Opioid use and drug overdoses have become a growing concern across the country throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to numbers from Alberta Health, 997 people died of overdoses in the province in the first 11 months of 2020, and around 301 of those deaths occurred between April and June.

Colberg said fatal overdoses can happen anywhere because it’s a systemic problem that involves the health, justice and law enforcement systems.

“It’s not a rural or urban issue; this is a world problem,” she said.

“It’s everywhere, and even as a community, we would just like to remind everybody that these opioid-related substances are laced with things, and all of us need to continually remind people about that because we don’t know what they’re making this stuff out of.”

These situations affect people of all ages, she said, even close to home. People need to keep closer tabs on each other because no one is immune.

“We need to continue to encourage people to reach out and use the services that are out there,” she said.

If you have information about this incident, contact the Drumheller RCMP at 403-823-2630 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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