‘My son is gone’: Family in The Pas grieving after son’s overdose

RCMP is investigating after seven toxic drug overdoses hit northern Manitoba towns.

A family from the Pas in Manitoba is grieving after their 31-year-old son suffered a catastrophic brain injury due to an overdose.

“We got the results back from the MRI, they weren’t good,” said his father Joe Fourre. “My son suffered a catastrophic brain injury that there’s no coming back from. My son is gone.”

Foure has been updating friends and family on Facebook since his son Harlan overdosed in The Pas on April 22.

The father said Harlan was taken to Winnipeg so physicians could determine whether he could be an organ donor.

“We’re taking that route because that was the spirit of Harlan,” said the father. “Harlan loved everybody.  He loved giving of himself to help anybody at the drop of a hat.

“So in the spirit of his life, we thought that this would be the best thing that he would continue to help others in his death.”

The Pas is a small town about 640 km north of Winnipeg.

RCMP is investigating the possibility that Harlan had taken a tainted drug along with three others in the community Saturday evening.

Fourre said that the three others were revived with NARCAN. Two other people overdosed later in the evening in the same establishment.

Manitoba RCMP said a seventh person overdosed in Thompson, Man., a town approximately 400 km away. The condition of that person is not known.

Police released photos of the drug so people would know what to watch for.

“The idea is to get that message across that if you do take it, be careful what you have right now,” said RCMP Sgt. Pau Manaigre, “because we don’t want to lose anymore.”

Krista Tooley, a harm reduction worker with Play it Safer Network in the Pas, isn’t surprised to hear about the overdoses.

“We have definitely seen toxic drugs in the community, it is not new to the community,” she said. “We know that Canada has a toxic drug supply right now, so it’s not new to anywhere in Canada.

“A lot of communities are experiencing these same poisonings.”

RCMP said a nurse at the Thompson General Hospital turned over a small box containing seven vials of an unknown crystal-like powder to them on the weekend.

While testing is ongoing, police believe this may be the same substance that was spread in the Pas.

“Start low, go slow, use with a friend, stagger your use, get your substance tested,” Tooley warned.

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