More potentially deadly chemicals being found in street-level drugs in BC

More potentially deadly chemicals being found in street-level drugs in BC

BC RCMP wishes to advise that recent Health Canada tests have confirmed the presence of the compound W-18 and a fentanyl analog recently in two communities, and that drug users should be aware these chemicals may be present anywhere.

In mid-December, 2016, Surrey RCMP seized pebble heroin, among other drugs, in relation to a dial-a-dope drug investigation. Health Canada has just confirmed the presence of W-18 within the heroin sample.

In May 2016 West Shore RCMP on Vancouver Island seized a small clear baggie containing a white powder. At the time officers conducted a field test, which showed positive for cocaine. The powdery substance was sent to the Health Canada lab for analysis.

On Feb. 23, Health Canada contacted West Shore RCMP to advise the analysis tested positive for an analog of fentanyl. Health Canada noted the jurisdiction had not seen this strain of fentanyl before. At the time of the seizure there were three overdoses in the West Shore RCMP jurisdiction, to which authorities were called.

Additionally, the RCMP continues to receive other confirmations from communities around the province regarding the presences of fentanyl, or fentanyl derivatives, or other potent chemicals.

“These lab results are once again prompting us to warn illicit drug users that it doesn’t matter where you buy your drugs, or who you get them from. The danger is the same if you’re in the big city or in a small community. I cannot stress that enough - there is no safe haven," says Assistant Commissioner Jim Gresham, head of the BC RCMP’s Investigative Services and Organized Crime.

"You must be aware that at any time dangerous and potentially lethal drugs may be present in what you're consuming," he says. “Unfortunately, there is no way for you to know what is really sold being to you. Please take steps to avoid making a potentially lethal decision.”

The RCMP in BC has a wide number of active investigations into illicit drug trafficking, and will continue to devote resources to making seizures and arrests. The RCMP, together with our partners, continue to monitor, detect and test for any possibility of potent or lethal substances entering the illicit drug market, in an effort to intercept and remove it before it hits the streets.

For more information about overdose prevention and awareness visit www.gov.bc.ca/overdose.