On April 16, 2024, Grande Prairie RCMP received a report from Health Canada regarding a drug that had been seized on Feb. 28, 2024. A large quantity of this drug was seized following a suspected fatal overdose. 

In the wake of this report, Alberta RCMP is issuing a warning to the public. The drug contained Fluorofentanyl mixed with Bromazolam, which is a benzodiazepine, and the first recorded instance of Bromazolam in Alberta. The analyzed drug was oval in size, stamped with “20” and “SS”, though it can come in other forms.

Bromazolam was linked to nine fatal overdoses in New Brunswick in 2022, according to a report published by the Government of New Brunswick[1]. As per this report, naloxone is not effective in reversing the effects of Bromazolam. Any fentanyl laced with Bromazolam would see a reduced effectiveness of naloxone, requiring the use of additional doses and may still result in a fatality.

In Alberta, from January to November 2023, the Alberta Substance Use Surveillance System report shows 1706 opioid-related deaths and 57 benzodiazepine-related deaths while, in 2022, for the same time period, these numbers were 1375 and 43 respectively. This means that opioid-related deaths have increased by 24% and benzodiazepine-related deaths have gone up by 32.5%. Furthermore, for all of 2023, Alberta RCMP have responded to approximately 1100 opioid-related calls for service with 368 (33.4%) of these being fatal. There were also 67 Naloxone deployments by Alberta RCMP, increasing by 31.3% since 2022.

Grande Prairie RCMP SubmittedPhoto: Submitted by RCMP
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