Some fentanyl being sold in Fort Simpson may contain another drug known as liquid Xanax, the NWT’s chief public health officer says.
The modified fentanyl’s effects could last longer or be more potent, said Dr Kami Kandola, and anti-opioid naloxone will not be as effective.
In a statement, Dr Kandola’s office said liquid Xanax is the street name for a drug named flubromazepam, which can make its users excessively drowsy, give them partial amnesia and render them unable to follow or take part in a conversation.
“Observations show that flubromazepam, when used in combination with other depressants such as opioids or alcohol, can cause serious physical and psychological harm,” the statement read.
More: GNWT advice on fentanyl and liquid Xanax
Kandola’s office said the drug had been “detected in suspected fentanyl packaged for sale” in Fort Simpson.
Naloxone should still be given if someone is showing signs of an overdose, the statement continued, adding that kits are available at hospitals, health centres and pharmacies.
Kandola repeated her January advice to never use drugs alone, a message she gave after Hay River reported six drug poisoning deaths in the past year.