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Calgary police warn about potential of deadly new street drug

Click to play video: 'New drug combination could mean more overdose deaths in Calgary' New drug combination could mean more overdose deaths in Calgary
WATCH: Calgary police are warning about benzodiazepines that are being added to street drugs that could be resistant to naloxone, which reverses a potential overdose. Jenna Freeman reports. – Apr 13, 2021

In recent months, Calgary police said they had identified that counterfeit Xanax and fentanyl have the addition of benzodiazepines in some street drugs.

The issue is that benzodiazepines make the drugs resistant to naloxone, so someone ingesting the drug might think that if they overdose, it could be reversed when, in fact, naloxone potentially may not work.

Staff Sgt. Kyle Grant with the undercover operations unit said it takes a couple of months after drugs are seized to identify with Health Canada whether or not there’s an additional drug that’s been added.

“We’re really in a reactive state,” Grant explained, “so people really need to be cautious that they don’t know what they’re ingesting.”

Shawna Taylor deals with the fear of her daughter potentially overdosing every single day.

Read more: Airdrie mother reaches out to parents of children with addiction

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Her daughter, Kenedee Taylor, became addicted when she was 17-years-old. Since then, Shawna has tried to keep in daily contact with her daughter while she is in active addiction.

“I accept this is where she’s at in life,” Shawna said. “It’s not who she is… It’s what she has, and maybe one day, she’ll decide that’s it, she’s had enough, and she will get help.”

Until then, Shawna is raising Kenedee’s daughter, and has created a peer support group for parents and loved ones trying to support those struggling with addiction.

Here Together creates a space Shawna said was missing when her daughter first started to struggle with addiction issues.

“There needs to be more help for treatment and the dealers and the drug users,” Shawna said.

“They have something going on in them, whether it’s trauma or a horrible loss of job or family member or something, and the alternative is risking death every time they take drugs. “

Police said that officers have seen the drug combination several times this year, and so far, there are no known overdoses linked to it.

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