RCMP in the Northwest Territories on Tuesday warned “noxious substances” have been found in illicit drugs seized in Yellowknife.
According to a news release, police seized drugs believed to be crack cocaine, powder cocaine and tablets from a Yellowknife residence on November 27. Samples of those drugs were sent to Health Canada for analysis, which found two “noxious” substances.
Results showed the presence of Adinazolam, which is a type of benzodiazepine – a drug that slows brain activity and affects the way people think, feel and move. Health Canada said people may not be aware the substance was in the drugs.
The same analysis found 5-MeO-DBT, a drug not regulated under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which Health Canada said is so new that limited information is available on its safety.
“These two drugs are a concern for unexpected reactions, and the concern for other contaminants like opioids is always present,” said deputy chief public health officer Dr Andy Delli Pizzi. “People who use street or illicit drugs should always do so with others present and have a plan to respond to an overdose.”
Delli Pizzi said that should include having naloxone, a medication used to counter the effects of an opioid overdose to allow time for medical help to arrive, and calling 9-1-1.
RCMP said the presence of these substances indicated the danger of illicit drugs has increased in the territory.
“RCMP are very concerned that those who are already at risk of harm from illicit drug use may be further affected by the presence of new and noxious substances recently found in samples of an illicit drug seizure in Yellowknife,” Inspector Dyson Smith stated.
“Given the distribution systems of the illegal drug trade, those tainted drugs could be anywhere in the territory, so this warning is for the entire Northwest Territories.”
RCMP said they are working with the territorial Department of Health and Social Services on the potential impacts of the discovery of these substances.