12th June - A Light Brown powder sold in Surrey on May 30th was tested positive for fentanyl, etizolam, flubromazolam; a toxic benzo. This occurred at Safepoint in Surrey. Initally the sample of down was tested using the FTIR Spctrometer and results showed Caffein, erythritol (common dilutent, sugar alcohol) and fentanyl (approx 10%). A fentanyl test strip and a benzo test strip were used and both showed positive results. The sample was then sent to the Provincial Toxicology Centre for further lab analysis and results showed that it contained the confirmed above substances fentanyl, etizolam, flubromazolam. Flubromazolam is a toxic benzodiazepine analogue with a very low dosage. The drug is classfied as a research chemical and is not used pharmaceutically. This is the first time this drug has been seen through drug checking. This substance caused the person to overdose (Stage 3) and was attended to by emergency services.
Flubromazolam was also identified at Insite on 12th June, in the form of a fake alprazolam pill. The pill was a yellow tablet with R039 printed on it which is an appearance of the pharmaceautical alprazolam tablet. FTIR analysis showed microcrystalline cellulose and lactose and a fentanyl test strip was negative, however, the benzo test strip was positive. The pill has been sent for lab testing.
Other noticeable trends:
Drug technicians are seeing an increase in "party" drugs, which is to be expected and suspected due to the summer/festival season approaching.
Drug Checking Pilot - VCH drug checking pilot at OPS sites is continuing this week (from Monday 10th June).
BCCSU Drug Checking schedule updates – temporary:
There will be reduced BCCSU drug checking shifts until further notice (approx. mid - June)
The following shifts will not be taking place:
Monday – Insite – 1-5
Tuesday - Safepoint - 12 -4 (Abbotsford)
Thursday – Molson OPS – 1-5
Friday – St. Paul’s Hospital – 1-4
For the above shifts where drug technicians are currently not around to check drugs using the spectrometer, peers will still be offering drug checking services with test strips at the above sites.
BCCSU Shifts still taking place are:
Tuesday – Molson OPS – 1-5
Wednesday – Insite – 3-7
Thursday – Safepoint – 10.30-5 (Abbotsford)
VCH Drug checking shifts continue to take place at:
Wednesday – Overdose Prevention Society – 9–12 & St. Paul’s Hospital *– 1-4 * (This SPH shift will not be taking place on Wednesday 19th June)