‘Unique internationally’: Vancouver sees widespread and frequent contamination in illicit drugs (Dr. Michael Krausz)

Vancouver’s drug supply has become increasingly contaminated according to a recent UBC studypublished by Dr. William Honer, signalling a growing risk for both regular and recreational users.

In a five-month long study in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, UBC researchers followed a 239-person sample for a five-month period. At the beginning of the study, only 45 per cent of opioid users within the group tested positive for traces of fentanyl, an opiate roughly 100 times stronger than heroin. This rate skyrocketed to 100 per cent after five months.

Dr. Michael Krausz, an addictions specialist at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, said that while Honer’s findings don’t necessarily apply to all drugs in the Vancouver area — notably cannabis — the study signals that ‘clean’ drugs are becoming more and more rare.

Zak Vescera reports

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