London’s opioid users say street drugs are getting stronger, cheaper and deadlier – CBC

A new city hall report cites a rise in overdoses and drug toxicity in the last 18 months

Jun 16, 2023

People who use fentanyl on the streets of London say the deadly opioid is becoming ever cheaper and more powerful, delivering higher highs, while simultaneously raising the risk of overdose death.

Without widespread testing, there’s no way of knowing, but the city’s drug problem has become more visible in the core, where strung out users lay in alcoves, doorways and on sidewalks where they remain sprawled in broad daylight, sometimes for hours, as passersby go on with their daily business in the city centre.

Relief agency officials say while the problem might appear more visible, it’s not because of an increased prevalence of drug abuse. Rather, the city’s homeless population has recently doubled, making people who use the drugs to self-medicate for pain, mental illness, or sometimes just to catch some sleep, more visible.

“I really believe it’s getting stronger,” said Dave, a fentanyl user who spoke to CBC News on the condition his real name would not be used in order to protect him from the stigma of homelessness and drug addiction.

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