VCH officials say opioid overdoses spiked recently, related to toxic additives (Dr. Keith Ahamad, BCCSU)

Officials with Vancouver Coastal Health say they’ve been dealing with an uptick in overdoses over the past few weeks — and the drugs are being cut with synthetics that naloxone doesn’t work on.

VCH Addiction Program Director Keith Ahamad said it’s happening to people who take opioids cut with drugs like benzodiazepines, which are often used in anti-anxiety medications, and others that aren’t used for prescriptions in Canada.

“Carfentanil in itself is an opioid medication that’s actually an animal tranquilizer. We don’t actually use it in humans. So these are medications in Canada that aren’t used for human consumption and they’re being added to the drug supply for reasons that I, truthfully, cannot explain.”

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