Police in Regina are picking up people who have become intoxicated from drinking alcohol-based hand sanitizer. They say the problem is most common in the downtown area of the Saskatchewan city.
Sanitizer is easily found in many buildings including shopping centres, government buildings and public areas of the hospital, and police think large containers are sometimes stolen.
"An 800-millilitre size is used only by the health region, so our officer was in touch with security at the health region to try to develop a way to place an identifier on the container,” Regina Police Service spokeswoman Elizabeth Popowich told CBC News.
Bill Carney, spokesman for the Regina-Qu'Appelle Health Region, said they would do that but pointed out that the product could be found in many other places around the city.
"Since the pandemic last year, everyone's more conscious of hand-washing, so we don't even know if it comes from us or from somewhere else,” CBC News quoted him as saying.
He added that if the stolen hand sanitizers are traced to the health region security would be increased.
The issue of people ingesting the product is not new. A Maclean’s article last year reported on the problem of young people drinking hand sanitizer. Because the product has a high alcohol content, small amounts have led to intoxication, and even poisoning.