WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has launched a fentanyl social media awareness campaign to educate the public on the dangers of the fatal opioid.
Within the past week, five people have died in Winnipeg due to suspected fentanyl overdoses.
“Fentanyl and other dangerous opioids are showing up in many drugs in our province, killing people of all ages and many backgrounds and putting non-users, including children, at risk,” said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen.
The campaign was launched Friday at Shaftesbury High School in partnership with Winnipeg police and the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.
“This growing trend is of great concern and we recognize that we must expand our efforts to ensure that everyone, user or not, is aware that these drugs kill.”
Use of the drug is expected to only increase, impacting first-time users and long-time addicts.
Goertzen says the new campaign is needed to warn people of the dangers posed by these drugs and non-users of their presence in common recreational illicit drugs.
The campaign, which is being funded through the Federal Proceeds of Crime Fund, will accompany efforts by public health officials to continue to look at both immediate and long-term actions needed to prevent and respond to overdoses in Manitoba.
RCMP officers in Manitoba began carrying naloxone kits this week to reverse the effects of opioids on anyone who may be suffering from a fentanyl overdose. The province is also working on a program that would distribute naloxone to high-risk injection opioids users across Manitoba.
The United Firefighters of Winnipeg launched their own awareness campaign surrounding the drug on November 17.
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