IH release drug alert after Kelowna sample contains high levels of fentanyl and benzodiazepine

Warning over toxic drugs

Those using opioids in Kelowna are being warned after a recently tested sample contained high levels of fentanyl and a benzodiazepine.

Interior Health released a drug alert Thursday, warning of a substance sold as “down” that contained 60-65 per cent fentanyl and 20-25 per cent Bromazolam.

Down generally refers to opioid drugs.

“Very high risk of overdose, high risk of fatal overdose,” the warning states. “Amnesia, sleepiness, nodding out for a long time.”

The substance appears as black chunks.

Bromazolam is a designer benzodiazepine drug that has not been approved for medical use in any country. It's been appearing in drug samples over the past year, prompting recent warnings in Northwest Territories and New Brunswick.

Like other benzodiazepines, it can cause a user to not respond to naloxone during an overdose.

Thursday's drug alert is in effect until June 1.

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