Northern Health issues alert over rise in illicit Benzodiazepines contaminating street drugs

Healthcare provider has previously said COVID-19 could have impacted drug supply

The healthcare provider for the northern half of the province has issued a health alert over an increase in illicit Benzodiazepines contaminating street drugs in the region.

Benzodiazepines, commonly referred to as benzos, are a type of medication that falls under the depressant category as they slow down one’s brain activity.

“When mixed with opioids, there is a higher risk of overdose,” the Northern Health (NH) wrote in a June 18 release detailing the alert. “Individuals who have overdosed using drugs contaminated with benzos may be difficult to rouse and slow to respond to naloxone.”

NH recently suggested that while purely anecdotal, one explanation they have heard is that the supply chains of drug distribution routes could have been impacted by COVID-19 and the various degrees of lockdowns across the continent associated with it.

READ MORE: Illicit overdose deaths on the rise during COVID-19: Northern Health

“This isn’t one that we’re able to prove easily, but [we are] just hearing anecdotally that there are changes in the drug supply right now because with borders shut to normal [traffic], drug distribution routes are changing,” Northern Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Rakel Kling told Black Press Media in a May 11 interview looking at the impact of COVID-19 on the opioid crisis in the province.

The month of May was the deadliest on record for the opioid crisis; at least 170 died from overdoses in the Province.

The healthcare provider said if you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose to first call 9-1-1 and then begin by opening the subject’s airway and giving resuscitation to aid in breathing. They also recommend individuals become familiar with how to use naloxone, even if they do not use opioids themselves, and carry it in public so they are comfortable using it in an overdose scenario.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

opioid crisis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Smithers man leaves $1 million to children’s hospital

Jim Bolster wanted to help out children with health problems like his own

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

New ownership resurrects BV Taxi

The new owners expect to be taking fares by mid-August

Tahltan Nation closes hunting and recreational activity access points

The remote and vulnerable territory has limited medical capacity

Kinsmen plan to host scaled-down version of Telkwa BBQ

Club hoping to serve traditional Beef on a Bun and keep status of longest running event in B.C.

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Wild’s Mathew Dumba makes anti-racism speech, kneels ahead of Blackhawks vs. Oilers

Matt Dumba, 26, took to center ice to speak on behalf of fellow members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance

Most Read