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Bromazolam found in Alberta for first time at scene of fatal overdose

Alberta RCMP issued a public warning on April 19, 2024, after drugs, pictured below, found at the scene of a fatal overdose in Grande Prairie in February were found to contain fluorofentanyl mixed with Bromazolam, a type of benzodiazepine whose effects cannot be reversed with naloxone. (Source: Alberta RCMP) Alberta RCMP issued a public warning on April 19, 2024, after drugs, pictured below, found at the scene of a fatal overdose in Grande Prairie in February were found to contain fluorofentanyl mixed with Bromazolam, a type of benzodiazepine whose effects cannot be reversed with naloxone. (Source: Alberta RCMP)
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A substance that was linked to a string of fatal overdoses in New Brunswick in 2022 has been found in Alberta for the first time, Mounties are warning the public. 

Bromazolam, a type of benzodiazepine, was found mixed with fluorofentanyl in drugs that were seized by police at the scene of a suspected fatal overdose in Grande Prairie on Feb. 28.

Bromazolam was linked to nine fatal overdoses in New Brunswick in 2022

The drug's effects – including sedation and hypnosis – cannot be reversed with naloxone. As such, naloxone is also less effective in a fentanyl overdose if the fentanyl is laced with Bromazolam. 

Health Canada alerted Alberta RCMP on Tuesday about finding Bromazolam in the Grande Prairie seizure, prompting Mounties' warning. 

The drugs seized in Grande Prairie were oval shaped and stamped with "20" and "SS," RCMP said, adding that it could come in other forms.

In 2023, the number of opioid-related deaths in Alberta rose 24 per cent over 2022 and benzodiazepine-related deaths by 32.5 per cent. 

Of the 1,100 opioid-related calls RCMP received in 2023, 33.4 per cent were fatal. Mounties used naloxone 67 times, up 31 per cent from 2022. 

Authorities in Ontario have also issued warnings this year about drugs containing Bromazolam and other fentanyl analogues. 

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