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Benzodiazepines find their way into local illicit drug supply

As if grappling with illicit opioids isn’t enough, the Porcupine Health Unit is experiencing yet another complication with them.

“We now have reason to believe that benzodiazepines might be in the drug supply,” public health nurse Patrick Nowak warns.

Benzodiazepines are prescribed as anti-anxiety and anti-seizure medications.

They can be mixed with fentanyl or carfentanyl, but administering naloxone will only counteract them, not the benzodiazepines.

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“The breathing might return,” Nowak notes. “However, the person still might be sedated due to the benzodiazepine.”

The danger there is that the person could return to an overdose state.

“Regardless, we encourage people to, if they do suspect an overdose on opioids or if they think benzodiazepines might be involved, administer the naloxone regardless, call 9-1- so they can get the proper medical management.”

Calling 9-1-1 is essential in any case.  And Nowak reminds us that naloxone kits are available for free at any health unit office and drug store.

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