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Pills that may contain fentanyl suspected to be cause of several overdoses, one fatal, in two Northern Manitoba First Nations over a three-day period

One death and several other non-fatal overdoses over a three-day period are believed to be the result of drugs known as “green beans” circulating in Bunibonibee Cree Nation (BCN) and Shamattawa First Nation, RCMP say.
2021-09-05 green-beans
Illegal drugs known as green beans that are circulating in Oxford House and Shamattawa may contain fentanyl and are believed to be the cause of numerous overdoses, one of them fatal, over the course of three days, RCMP said Sept. 5. The pills may not look exactly as pictured, they warn.

One death and several other non-fatal overdoses over a three-day period are believed to be the result of drugs known as “green beans” circulating in Bunibonibee Cree Nation (BCN) and Shamattawa First Nation, RCMP said in a press release Sept. 5.

The greenish pills resemble oxycodone tablets and police believe they may contain fentanyl. Anyone who has these drugs is being advised to dispose of them immediately.

Anyone with information is also asked to call Oxford House RCMP at 204-538-2211, Shamattawa RCMP at 204-565-2350 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477. Tips can also be submitted online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.

A 36-year-old father of seven children died Sept. 2 in BCN after being found unconscious, Chief Richard Hart told CBC, saying he’s been aware that the drug was in his community for at least two months but that it was only in the last six weeks that medical incidents linked to the pills have risen dramatically. Hart said about a dozen people had been taken to the nursing station with symptoms of opioid overdose in a 36-hour period Several were medevaced to Winnipeg for treatment.

Shamattawa First Nation Chief Eric Redhead told CBC that his community saw an alarming rise in opioid overdoses at its nursing station – four in about four days.

Hart says that although many of his First Nation’s members are urging him to crack down on illegal drugs, many people do not want to say where they got their drugs from and even when one dealer is busted, another takes their place.

Redhead said better checks of people boarding planes to the communities, which are only accessible by air except during winter road season, would help keep dangerous drugs out of the reach of residents.

More access to naloxone, which can reverse an opioid overdose for long enough for the person suffering it to seek further medical care, would help the situations, both chiefs told CBC.

Hart also said offering more ways for young people to productively spend their time could also keep them away from illegal drugs.