Street drugs in Canada are becoming more toxic — and tools to treat them less effective. Why?

From Global News

A rise in the circulation of highly potent fentanyl that is increasingly being mixed with other drugs is making Canada’s street drug supply so toxic and unpredictable, tools to prevent overdoses such as naloxone are not always fully effective, experts say.

The situation has become so volatile, front-line doctors and workers say they are left to guess at what mixture of substances a person in crisis may have been exposed to, which is why they say Canada needs to move faster on measures like safe supply and drug regulation to stop the sharp rise in opioid-related deaths in Canada.

Tara Gomes, a scientist at Unity Health Toronto and director of the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network, says the increasing unpredictability in the drug supply in Canada poses challenges for community-based programs that help people who use drugs, as they are not set up to handle the longer-term care that may be required to aid someone overdosing from opioids mixed with benzos.

“They’re able to administer naloxone, and the person might be OK … but they are not able to be roused and people within those programs have to help monitor that person might have to stay open later or make sure there are people around because this person might need a couple of hours before they’re fully aroused and can leave the program,” Gomes said.

Read The Article