The “heroin” being sold by drug dealers in Sooke is everything but heroin. The deadly mixture is largely fentanyl and may have already led to one death in the community. (file photo)

Test reveals fentanyl creep into south Island heroin supply

Fentanyl made up 20 per cent of sample recently analyzed in Sooke

A test of a drug sample obtained recently in Sooke – thought by the user to be heroin – proved to be something very different.

The sample provided by a client of AIDS Vancouver Island turned out to be a combination of etizolam (a drug prescribed for anxiety and neurosis), xylitol (a sugar substitute), methorphan (cough suppressant and dissaciative hallucinogen) and fentanyl.

The fentanyl made up 20 per cent of the sample, four times the average amount found in most opioid samples.

Related: Addiction cuts both ways

“From what we’re seeing, there’s very little heroin around in most drug samples these days,” Lana Fine, health promotion educator for AVI, said.

The findings of this test were passed to the Sooke Shelter Society with a warning that the client supplying the sample obtained it from a main source of illicit drugs in the community.

In response, the shelter society issued a public warning about the illicit drug cocktail.

“As far as I’m aware, this is the main sample (supplier) supplying the Sooke area. Please notify any clients you have living in the area as this is a very strong sample,” read the Shelter Society’s Facebook post.

The situation does not come as a surprise to Sooke RCMP Staff Sgt. Brett Sinden.

“Drug use is prevalent in all communities, but recreational drug users need to be reminded that there are significant risks associated with their use,” he said.

“There is no quality control and no way of knowing what you’re actually taking. People need to realize that.”

RELATED: Enough to kill thousands

Sheri Thompson of the Sooke Shelter Society shared the concerns, but pointed out drug use occurs in all sectors of society.

“Some people think that this is a concern only for the homeless. They’re the ones who get painted with the brush as being drug users,” Thompson said.

“There are lots of people living in homes who are also taking drugs, and they are just as much at risk of harm from these drugs.”

The testing of the drugs was performed by the Vancouver Island Drug Checking Project, an initiative of the University of Victoria.

It offers a free and confidential service at harm reduction agencies in Victoria, including AVI, Lantern Services, and SOLID.

In a snapshot of the test results on Nov. 13, it reported that heroin represented only 10 per cent of most drugs tested. Methamphetamine was present in 16 per cent of samples with MDMA and cocaine being found at seven and two percent, respectively.

The most prevalent drug found in the Project’s samples was fentanyl at 31 percent.

Andy Watson of the B.C. Coroner’s Service said fentanyl has become more prevalent in street drugs, according to federal testing data.

Sinden confirmed at least one drug related death has occurred in Sooke within the past week.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Minivan driver’s speed a factor in fatal 2018 Malahat crash

Driver was travelling at 101 km/h in a construction zone

Victoria tattoo shops respond to sex assault allegations against male artists

Carne Tattoo and Painted Lotus Studios respond to allegations

Island RCMP want speeding motorists to ‘slow the blazes down’

Nanaimo police raise alarm after seeing 400-per cent rise in excessive speeding tickets last month

Big Beach parties spark concern in Ucluelet

“You find needles, left over party debris, bottles and still burning fires.”

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Younger Canadians, men less likely to wear masks, according to Stats Canada

Immigrants, especially immigrant women, more likely to follow precautions

Downtown Duncan open-air food court opens

Facility will operate throughout the summer in reaction to COVID-19

Island Health provides Baby Beds for infants

A safe place for baby to sleep is key to reduce sleep-related deaths

Mobile Health Unit takes to Campbell River streets

KDC Health-operated health bus offers holistic approach to health

Architect plans to revitalize Victoria ‘gateways,’ including Wellburns building

Wood-construction apartments planned for Scott, Wellburn’s buildings

SKAMpede goes live in Victoria this weekend

Beloved annual theatre event returns with changes, pre-registration online

Most Read