drug alerts

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Drug alert and over­dose alerts

August 17, 2022

Street drugs tested for fentanyl and novel non-opioid veterinary tranquilizer “Xylazine” in Winnipeg, Manitoba

A sample of a street drug that appeared as a powder and grainy substance was confiscated in Winnipeg Manitoba, and tested in July 2022 by Health Canada - Drug Analysis Service. The sample tested positive for fentanyl and Xylazine. This is the first report of Xylazine in this jurisdiction by Health Canada - Drug Analysis Service.

Health Canada's Drug Analysis Service (DAS) test illegal drugs seized by Canadian law enforcement agencies. For more information on drugs analyzed by DAS, see Analyzed Drug Report - Drug Analysis Service | Public Health Infobase - Public Health Agency of Canada

Fentanyl is a very toxic opioid drug that can result in overdose causing respiratory depression, unconsciousness and death.

Xylazine is a tranquilizer that can cause drowsiness and sedation, slow breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure to dangerously low level, and may cause the person to lose consciousness. Because it is not an opioid, naloxone does not work on it.

The combination of these two substances can increase harms.

August 8, 2022

Street drugs tested for fentanyl and novel benzodiazepine “Bromazolam” in Brandon and Winnipeg, Manitoba

A sample of a street drug that appeared as a beige powder was confiscated in Brandon Manitoba and tested by Health Canada - Drug Analysis Service. The sample tested positive for fentanyl and Bromazolam in June 2022. A sample of grainy substance from Winnipeg tested in July also contained Bromazolam. These are the first reports of Bromazolam in these jurisdictions by Health Canada - Drug Analysis Service.

Health Canada's Drug Analysis Service (DAS) test illegal drugs seized by Canadian law enforcement agencies. For more information on drugs tested by DAS, see Analyzed Drug Report - Drug Analysis Service | Public Health Infobase - Public Health Agency of Canada

Fentanyl is a very toxic opioid drug that can result in overdose causing respiratory depression, unconsciousness and death.

Bromazolam is a benzodiazepine (benzo) which causes respiratory depression and sedation and may cause a person to lose consciousness. Because it is not an opioid, naloxone does not work on it.

The combination of these two substances can increase harms.

April 28, 2022

Winnipeg - Main Street Project reports that three overdoses occurred on their premises on April 27th, 2022. One other community agency reports a spike in suspected overdose on the same date.

In all three situations at Main Street Project, staff located the community member and were able to reverse the suspected overdose with naloxone. No information is available about the specific substance used or description of same, however it is believed that all three situations resulted from an injected substance. In at least one instance, the overdose occurred after the community member injected a “hot shot”, whereby the substance was acquired pre-mixed in a syringe.

If you use drugs:

Call 911 (or your local emer­gency response num­ber) if you wit­ness or expe­ri­ence an over­dose. The Good Samar­i­tan Over­dose Pro­tec­tion Act will pro­tect those involved from drug pos­ses­sion charges or breach of pro­ba­tion/pre-tri­al release charges.

  • Get nalox­one and over­dose train­ing before using – bring a friend
  • Be aware that ben­zo­di­azepines don’t respond to naloxone.
  • Do not use drugs alone or behind a locked door. Have a des­ig­nat­ed respon­der: Stag­ger use with friends so some­one can respond/​call 911 if needed. 
  • If you are using alone con­sid­er call­ing the Nation­al Over­dose Pre­ven­tion Hot­line at 18886886677, where you will be con­nect­ed to a safe con­sump­tion vol­un­teer who stays on the line for 15 – 30 min­utes while you use the substance.
  • Use a less direct route when you take drugs. Inject­ing a drug is the most direct and dan­ger­ous route. 
  • If you mix drugs, reduce the amount of each drug you take and use opi­oids before ben­zos or alco­hol. Use the most unpre­dictable drug first.
  • Use one drug at a time, test your drugs every time by doing a small­er than usu­al test amount first.
  • Wait before tak­ing anoth­er dose – some drugs take longer to take effect
  • The amount of nalox­one in a take-home kit may not be enough to reverse very pow­er­ful over­dos­es, such as those caused by fen­tanyl-like drugs.
  • If you inject do not share any injec­tion equip­ment (nee­dles, cook­ers, fil­ters, rinse). Ster­ile drug use sup­plies are avail­able from many places.