National Newswatch

WHITEHORSE — Officials in Yukon have issued a public warning after three deaths in three weeks linked to illegal drugs contaminated with fentanyl.

Chief coroner Heather Jones says the territory had one opioid-related fatality all year before the three deaths between Nov. 9 and Nov. 30.

She says all three people were regular drug users though she cited privacy concerns in not releasing any details including ages or other circumstances of their deaths.

Dr. Andy Delli Pizzi, the acting chief medical health officer, says seven people in Yukon have died of opioid-linked causes in each of the last three years but those numbers are significant considering the territory's small population of about 40,000.

He is urging drug users not to use alone and get support at the Blood Ties Four Directions Centre if they're in Whitehorse so they can test illicit substances for the presence of fentanyl.

Delli Pizzi is advising residents of smaller communities to connect with staff at their local health centre.

This story by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 10, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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