Fentanyl is a strong painkiller, or opioid, that is being mixed into illegal drugs in Vancouver. Fentanyl has been found in drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, and ecstasy.
Fentanyl has also been found in drugs resembling prescription pills, such as Percocet or Tylenol 3. A very small amount of fentanyl can be fatal.
If you use or intend to use illegal drugs, make a plan to reduce your risks. It’s strongly recommended to carry naloxone in case of a fentanyl overdose. Make sure you know how to recognize and respond to the signs of an overdose.
A free naloxone kit is available from UBC Student Health Service and at certain BC pharmacies. All kits are confidential and freely available for those at risk of opioid overdose, or likely to witness a family member or friend at risk of an overdose.
Drugging without consent
Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), and/or ketamine – historically known as “date rape drugs.” Most of these drugs are colourless, odourless and tasteless and you may not know at the time that you have been exposed to them.
When exposed, symptoms may peak in about 2 hours. Some symptoms of these drugs include:
- Problems talking or slurred speech
- Trouble moving or controlling your muscles
- Nausea and vomiting
- Very slow or very fast heartbeat
- Trouble breathing
- Passing out
- Memory loss
Alcohol can further exacerbate these symptoms.
If you believe that you may have been drugged and/or sexually assaulted, seek medical help immediately. If you feel like you are in immediate danger, call 911. It’s important that you don’t bathe or change your clothes before going to the hospital.
Steps you can take
Drugging is most commonly administered through drinks. Some steps that you can take to protect yourself include:
- Being aware of what you are drinking
- Don’t accept drinks from other people
- Open drinks yourself and never let them out of your sight
- Don’t drink more than you want to or pressure your friends to drink more than they want to
- Look out for your friends and have them look out for you
- Get help right away if you feel you have been drugged
If you feel you have been drugged