Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

There has been a surprising increase in the number of positive tests for fentanyl in samples of heroin, which have been seized by the law enforcement agencies throughout the country. It was less than 1% in 2012, moving to about 60% or more in 2017.

In other words, there has been a two thousand percent increase in the percentage. For all street drug samples, it is not a small sample size. The samples tested are about 120,000 in number. Health Canada has not provided an in-depth breakdown of the details for every type of drug test.

However, they have noted that heroin is a particular area of concern.

Of the 2337 heroin samples tested by the drug analysis service of Health Canada, less than 1% had fentanyl or any of its analogs, such as Carfentanil.

That grew to 39.4% out of 3658 samples. In only the first nine months of 2017, of the samples tested, totaling 3,337, the total testing positive for Fentanyl has “jumped” to 60.1%.

It is a substantial increase in the percentage of fentanyl that is part of the samples tested. Other common drugs tested by the service are marijuana, cocaine, oxycodone, MDMA, and many others. It was not found in any marijuana samples, but there have been increases found, of Fentanyl, in cocaine and methamphetamine.

This rapid increase in fentanyl contained within street drugs is a marked concern for the general public as well as Health Canada. Dr. David Juurlink, the head of clinical pharmacology and toxicology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, found that this was not shocking for him.

This is, simply according to Juurlink, a mirror of the opioid crisis overdose deaths. They are paralleling the increase of positive fentanyl drug test samples. In 2016 alone, Health Canada reports that 2,816 people died from opioid-related causes.

Juurlink says that some of the factors associated with the rapid increase of fentanyl use is due to a general over-prescription of opioids for the reduction of pain. Money is being made by preying on people who need help. This is the opinion of Juurlink.

References

Miller, A. (2017, November 9). EXCLUSIVE 2,000% rise in street drug samples testing positive for fentanyl. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/shocking-rise-of-fentanyl-in-seized-street-drugs-1.4393906.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal.

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