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Interior Health declares drug alert for Nelson, Castlegar

Drugs sold as Down or fentanyl are connected to a number of poisonings
This drug circulating in Nelson and Castlegar is believed to be connected to a number of poisonings. Photo: Interior Health

A drug alert for Nelson and Castlegar has been issued by Interior Health following what it says are multiple poisonings.

The alert, issued Thursday, said samples containing fluorofentanyl, a benzodiazepine analogue or both had been tested at ANKORS in Nelson.

The drugs are described as light green, blue and purple pebbles sold as Down, dope or fentanyl, and are believed to be connected to a number of poisonings.

IH said fluorofentanyl can be slightly less potent than fentanyl or more potent, while drugs mixed with benzodiazepines don’t respond to naloxone treatment.

The drug alert is in effect until July 1.

The BC Coroners Service announced June 19 that 1,018 British Columbians had died from unregulated drugs in the first five months of 2023. At least 12,264 people have died of toxic drug poisoning since B.C. declared a health crisis in 2016.

READ MORE: Premier David Eby says B.C. remains in the grips of an unregulated drug crisis

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