‘Nobody Knows’: UBC struggles to respond to Vancouver’s fentanyl crisis (Dr. Michael Krausz)

You’re at a party, and suddenly someone falls to the ground. It’s an overdose caused by drugs laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 10 to 100 times stronger than heroin. Depending on the dosage, there might be mere minutes before the damage is permanent — or even fatal.

The solution is naloxone, a powerful opioid antagonist administered via injection or nasal spray that can offset the effects of an overdose for 30 to 90 minutes.

Dr. Michael Krausz is an addictions specialist at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences at UBC. He said assessing drug use in student populations is difficult because of its association with mental health — and the resulting stigma around it.

Zak Vescera reports

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