Overdose Alert: Illicit Benzodiazepines or “Benzos” contaminating street drugs


Northern Health is urging residents using or considering using drugs to reconsider or take steps to prevent overdose, in light of a recent increase in illicit Benzodiazepines or “Benzos” contaminating street drugs in the NH region.

Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are a type of medication that “depresses” or slows down your brain activity. When benzos are mixed with opioids (down) there is a higher risk of overdose. Individuals who have overdosed using drugs contaminated with benzos may be difficult to rouse and slow to respond to naloxone.

If you suspect someone is experiencing a benzos-related overdose, it is very important to:

  • Call 9-1-1 for help.
  • Open airway and give rescue breaths
  • Give naloxone (Narcan) if you have it

More information on this Overdose Alert can be found on the NH website: Overdose Emergency Information. A Provincial Overdose Alert remains in effect due to the increases in both fatal and non-fatal overdoses. See Toward the Heart for more information.


  • Avoid using substances alone. Use in the presence of others who are trained to respond with a Take Home Naloxone Kit.
  • Keep more than one naloxone kit with you. Some overdoses require more than three doses of naloxone.
  • Talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner about how to access prescription medications to reduce overdose risk and prevent withdrawal. Or call the Northern Health COVID-19 Online Clinic and Information Line at 1-844-645-7811.

A Message from James Moxon

Indigenous Services Canada has received a Band Council Resolution dated June 10, 2020. We have also received a press release in which Marvin Yahey states that the procedure for a meeting held on June 10, 2020, regarding governance was not correctly followed and that he therefore remains as Chief.


Indigenous Services Canada does not have the authority to resolve the current council dispute and its role is limited to recording results of elections, as well as changes in council, when supported by appropriate documentation. Given the seriousness of the current situation, before making changes to the election record, Indigenous Services Canada is asking for clarification on the quorum (ie. three) that was indicated on the June 10, 2020, Band Council Resolution. A Band Council Resolution on file from 2018, shows that the quorum was four. In addition, official documentation shared with the Department indicates that a quorum of council is the majority of the whole council.


-James Moxon

Director, Community Development
British Columbia Region
Indigenous Services Canada