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ANKORS Nelson – Drug Checking Report – Week of October 4, 2021

This week at ANKORS we tested a large variety of down samples of varying colours. The fentanyl content of these samples was consistent with recent trends, at about 10%. What is more concerning, however, is that all of the down samples tested positive for benzodiazepines using benzodiazepine test strips.

When used with fentanyl or other opioids, benzodiazepines have synergistic effects. Down samples with benzodiazepines or their analogues can increase the chance of overdose, and often cause atypical overdose responses. Benzodiazepines do not respond to naloxone; therefore it is important to give breaths when responding to an atypical overdose. Please continue to encourage people who are using drugs to have their drugs checked, to start slow, and to refrain from using alone.

While drug checking can help reduce the risk of using drugs by allowing users to make better informed decisions, please recognize that the use of FTIR spectrometry and test strips has limitations. Notably, the FTIR cannot detect substances that are present in small amounts or substances that are absent from the reference database. No drug use is completely safe, and checking your drugs does not eliminate all risk.