Potentially deadly fentanyl-laced cocaine is circulating in Victoria, lab warns

Potentially deadly fentanyl-laced cocaine is circulating in Victoria, lab warns

Fentanyl is in Victoria’s cocaine supply. That’s what a street drug testing site is warning the public after multiple samples of cocaine tested positive for a small concentration of fentanyl.

Substance UVic says fentanyl isn’t normally found cut into cocaine, and even though the concentrations were below .25 per cent advocates are warning, it still could be deadly.

“The scary part is that if cocaine users encounter fentanyl and they aren’t used to it, they don’t have a tolerance for it, it can lead to overdose and it can even lead to death,” said Leslie McBain, founder of Mom’s Stop The Harm.

The discovery comes as B.C. weathers lengthy and tragic opioid crisis. More than 2,200 people died from drug overdoses in the province just last year.

“Illicit drug toxicity is the leading cause of unnatural deaths in B.C., accounting for more deaths than suicides, homicides, motor vehicle incidents, drownings, and fire-related deaths combined,” said Michael Eglison, on March 9, 2022, as part of the BC Coroners Service death review panel: a review of illicit drug toxicity deaths.

Experts say the current supply of illicit drugs, is more toxic and less predictable than ever before.

“If you don’t want fentanyl, people need to test their drugs,” warned McBain.

But McBain also says testing has its restrictions.

Drug tests can be bought at specialty sites or pharmacies, but the pharmaceutical ones don’t show the power or strength of the fentanyl. Beyond that, drug testing takes time, which many people who use drugs might not have.

So, McBain is joining the many others calling for a regulated safe supply of drugs.

“We’d like to see a safe supply of all drugs that people are seeking,” said McBain.

To curb this crisis that’s killing British Columbians by the thousands.

“Let’s keep people alive,” said McBain.

In response to the most recent BC Coroner’s study, Premier John Horgan has started an all-party health committee tasked with investigating the overdose crisis.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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