OCTOBER 2021

October 28, 2021 – Vernon
Expected drug: Fentanyl
Appearance: Beige crystals
Drug checking results: Fentanyl
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Location purchased: Vernon

October 20, 2021 – Vancouver
Expected drug: Fentanyl
Appearance: Beige or yellow powder
Drug checking results: Metonitazene
Fentanyl test strip: Negative
Location purchased: Vancouver
What does this mean?
Metonitazene is a new opioid with limited information on its toxicity and effects.

October 14, 2021 – Kamloops
Expected drug: Methamphetamine
Appearance: Colourless crystals
Drug checking results: Methamphetamine
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Location purchased: Kamloops
What does this mean? 
The unexpected presence of fentanyl poses significant risk of opioid toxicity, especially for opioid-naïve individuals.

SEPTEMBER 2021

September 7, 2021 – Get Your Drugs Tested, Vancouver
Expected drug: MDMA
Appearance: Light brown crystals
Drug checking results: Dimethyl sulfone, N-ethylpentylone
Fentanyl test strip: Negative
Location purchased: Vancouver
What does this mean? 
N-ethylpentylone is a cathinone associated with heath harms including overdose, especially when thought to be MDMA.

September 3, 2021 – Overdose Prevention Society, Vancouver
Expected drug: Fentanyl
Appearance: Brown pebbles
Drug checking results: Caffeine, Erythritol, Fentanyl
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzodiazepine test strip: Positive
Location purchased: Vancouver
What does this mean? 
Benzodiazepines can caused prolonged sedation and increase the risk of overdose when combined with opioids.

AUGUST 2021

August 30, 2021 – Get Your Drugs Tested, Vancouver
Expected drug: 2C-B
Appearance: White powder
Drug checking results: Dimethyl Sulfone, 3-MeO-PCP, MDMA, Uncertain match
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzodiazepine test strip: Negative
Location purchased: Vancouver
What does this mean? 
3-MeO-PCP can cause psychosis in high doses and fentanyl can cause opioid toxicity especially for opioid-naïve individuals.

August 24, 2021 – Get Your Drugs Tested, Vancouver
Expected drug: Down (unknown opioid)
Appearance: Light yellow powder
Drug checking results: Flualprazolam, Fentanyl
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzodiazepine test strip: Positive
Location purchased: Vancouver
What does this mean? 
Flualprazolam is a potent benzodiazepine that may cause drowsiness, especially when consumed unintentionally.

August 11, 2021 – Get Your Drugs Tested, Vancouver
Expected drug: Cocaine
Appearance: White powder
Drug checking results: Etizolam
Fentanyl test strip: Negative
Location purchased: Vancouver
What does this mean? 
Etizolam is a benzodiazepine derivative that may cause drowsiness, especially when consumed unintentionally.

JULY 2021

July 30, 2021 – Living Positive Resource Centre, Kelowna
Expected drug: Cocaine
Appearance: White powder
Drug checking results: Cocaine, Phenacetin
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Location purchased: Kelowna
What does this mean? 
There is a risk of opioid toxicity when stimulants are contaminated with fentanyl.

July 23, 2021 – Insite, Vancouver
Expected drug: Xanax (alprazolam)
Appearance: Light green bar-shaped tablet
Drug checking results: Microcrystalline cellulose
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzodiazepine test strip: Positive
Location purchased: Vancouver
What does this mean? 
Counterfeit Xanax may contain a variety of different drugs other than the expected alprazolam. Drug checking Xanax can help you avoid ingesting unexpected adulterants.

July 21, 2021 – Get Your Drugs Tested, Vancouver
Expected drug: Cocaine
Appearance: White powder with black flecks
Drug checking results: Flubromazepam
Fentanyl test strip: Negative
Benzodiazepine test strip: Positive
Location purchased: Vancouver
What does this mean? 
Benzodiazepines can cause intense drowsiness. Many drugs are white powders, so always get your drugs checked to confirm what you think you have.

July 21, 2021 – ASK Wellness, Kamloops
Expected drug: Methamphetamine
Appearance: Green chunk
Drug checking results: Caffeine, Xylitol, Methamphetamine, Fentanyl
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzodiazepine test strip: Positive
Location purchased: Kamloops
What does this mean? 
The risk of overdose is increased when combining depressants (i.e., benzodiazepines with opioids) especially for people who don’t regularly use opioids. Always be suspicious of methamphetamine if it’s not a colourless, clear crystal—but still get it checked!

July 19, 2021 – Get Your Drugs Tested, Vancouver
Expected drug: MDMA
Appearance: Colourless crystal
Drug checking results: Xylazine
Fentanyl test strip: Negative
Location purchased: 
Unknown
What does this mean? 
Checking your drugs before you use them can remove your risk of exposure to harmful adulterants. Not much is known about the effect of xylazine in humans, since it is only used in veterinary medicine.

JUNE 2021

June 29, 2021 – ASK Wellness, Kamloops
Expected drug: Fentanyl
Appearance: Purple powder
Drug checking results: Fentanyl, Flubromazepam, Erythritol
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzodiazepine test strip: Positive
Location purchased: Kamloops
What does this mean?
The combination of opioids and benzodiazepines can cause prolonged sedation. Even use of small amounts may cause overdose. Use with caution.

June 4, 2021 – ASK Wellness, Kamloops
Expected drug: Down (Unknown Opioid)
Appearance: Purple powder
Drug checking results: Fentanyl, Erythritol
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzodiazepine test strip: Positive
Location purchased: Kamloops
What does this mean?
Combining depressants increases the risk of overdose as benzodiazepines can cause prolonged sedation. Use of smaller amounts may still result in significant overdose risk.

MAY 2021

May 21, 2021 – Merritt
Expected drug: Ecstasy (MDMA)
Appearance: White, round pressed tablet with lighting bolt imprint
Drug checking results: Microcrystalline cellulose, lactose, MDA
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Location purchased: 
Lower Mainland
What does this mean? 
For people without an opioid tolerance, small amounts of fentanyl can lead to opioid toxicity.

May 19, 2021 – Get Your Drugs Tested, Vancouver
Expected drug: Cocaine
Appearance: White powder with purple flecks
Drug checking results: Cocaine, Caffeine
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Location purchased:
Vancouver
What does this mean? 
A good harm reduction tip is to be cautious when white-coloured drugs have coloured flecks. In this case, the purple flecks were caffeine and fentanyl, typical ingredients in down.

May 4, 2021 – Get Your Drugs Tested, Vancouver
Expected drug: Down
Appearance: Pink pebbles, Brown pebbles
Drug checking results: Caffeine, Fentanyl, Xylazine
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzodiazepine test strip: Positive
Location purchased:
Unknown
What does this mean?
Xylazine is a veterinary tranquilizer that may complicate overdoses and is linked to skin lesions and ulcers after injecting. A sample containing three different depressants poses a high risk for overdose.

APRIL 2021

April 24, 2021 – UBCO Harm Reduction Team (HaRT), Penticton
Expected drug: Crack cocaine
Appearance: Beige granules
Drug checking results: Cocaine base, Phenacetin
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Location purchased:
Penticton
What does this mean? 
There have been reports over overdose linked to this substance. Drug checking is available in Penticton. Visit Interior Health’s drugchecking.ca for updated locations and times.

April 18, 2021 – UBCO Harm Reduction Team (HaRT), Penticton
Expected drug: Crack cocaine
Appearance: Beige chunk
Drug checking results: Mannitol, Fentanyl
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Location purchased:
Penticton
What does this mean? 
There have been reports over overdose linked to this substance (fentanyl portrayed as crack cocaine). Drug checking is available in Penticton. Visit Interior Health’s drugchecking.ca for updated locations and times.

April 12, 2021 – Get Your Drugs Tested, Vancouver
Expected drug: Down/Fentanyl
Appearance: Purple pebbles
Drug checking results: Fentanyl, Etizolam, Xylazine
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzo test strip: Positive
Location purchased:
Unknown
What does this mean?
Etizolam is a depressant that increases the risk of overdose. Xylazine is a veterinary tranquilizer that may complicate overdoses and is linked to skin lesions and ulcers after injecting.

April 8, 2021 – Get Your Drugs Tested, Vancouver
Expected drug: Crack cocaine
Appearance: White, shiny pebbles
Drug checking results: Fentanyl
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzo test strip: Negative
Location purchased:
Unknown (found)
What does this mean?
This substance was found and based on appearance thought to be crack. Only after drug checking was it found to contain fentanyl with no cuts or buffs. Many drugs look alike so get them checked to make sure!

MARCH 2021

March 31, 2021 – Penticton
Expected drug: Methamphetamine (Side)
Appearance: Colourless crystals with light green powder residue
Drug checking results: Methamphetamine, fentanyl
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Location purchased:
Penticton
What does this mean? Unexpected fentanyl presence can lead to overdose, even when smoking. Fentanyl test strips are effective for detecting fentanyl in stimulants.

March 10, 2021 – Get Your Drugs Tested, Vancouver
Expected drug: Ketamine
Drug checking results: Ketamine and etizolam
Fentanyl test strip: Negative
Location purchased: 
Unknown
What does this mean?
Etizolam is a benzodiazepine that can cause extreme sedation and blackouts, especially when consumed unexpectedly in high amounts. Check your drugs before consuming them.

FEBRUARY 2021

26 February 2021- IHA, 100 Mile House
Overdose alert has been issued for 100 Mile House due to an increased rate of fatal overdoses in the region.

Check your drugs at any OPS/SCS!

17 February 2021- ASK Wellness, Kamloops
Expected drug: Percocet
Drug checking results: Acetaminophen and fentanyl
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzo test strip:
N/A
Location purchased:
Kamloops
What does this mean?
Unknown consumption of fentanyl poses a high risk for opioid overdose! Check your drugs at any local SCS/OPS!

6 February 2021- IHA/UBCO, Kelowna/West Kelowna
Expected drug: Fentanyl
Drug checking results: Contains benzodiazepines and fentanyl
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzo test strip:
Positive
Location purchased:
Kelowna
What does this mean? 
Check your drugs for benzodiazepines at any local SCS/OPS.

5 February 2021- ANKORS, Cranbrook
Expected drug: Down
Drug checking results: Contains benzodiazepines and high fentanyl concentration
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzo test strip:
Positive
Location purchased:
Cranbrook
What does this mean?
High risk of prolonged sedation and overdose-Check your drugs for benzodiazepines at any local SCS/OPS.

5 February 2021- ANKORS, Cranbrook
Expected drug: Down
Drug checking results: High fentanyl concentration and benzodiazepines
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzo test strip:
Positive
Location purchased:
Cranbrook
What does this mean? 
May not respond to naloxone- continue to give breaths and seek medical attention.

5 February 2021- ASK Wellness, Kamloops
Expected drug: Cocaine
Drug checking results: Methamphetamine, cocaine, levamisole
Fentanyl test strip: N/A
Benzo test strip:
N/A
Location purchased:
Kamloops
What does this mean? 
Stimulant overdose/over amping; Levamisole can cause fever, skin colour changes (purplish), and other severe brain disorders. Risks increase with regular use (2 or more days/week).

4 February 2021- IHA/UBCO, Kelowna/West Kelowna
Expected drug: Fentanyl
Drug checking results: Benzodiazepines and fentanyl
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzo test strip:
Positive
Location purchased: 
Kelowna
What does this mean? 
High risk of overdose with prolonged sedation- may not respond to naloxone. Check your drugs

3 February 2021- ANKORS, Castlegar
Expected drug: Fentanyl
Drug checking results:  Fentanyl and benzodiazepines
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzo test strip:
Positive
Location purchased:
Castlegar
What does this mean? 
Check your drugs for benzos at any local SCS and OPS!

2 February 2021- Penticton
Expected drug: Down
Drug checking results: High concentration of fentanyl and benzodiazepines
Fentanyl test strip: Positive
Benzo test strip:
Positive
Location purchased:
Penticton
What does this mean? 
High risk of overdose with prolonged sedation- may not respond to naloxone. Check your drugs

For more past alerts, you can download the alert archive here (opens PDF)

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