As if the opioid crisis in BC wasn’t bad enough already, another street drug has been discovered in the province.

It’s been referred to as a “zombie-like” drug after it was discovered at a Kamloops drug prevention facility last week where the pills contained a mix of heroin, fentanyl, and caffeine along with the synthetic cannabinoid called AMB-FUBINACA.

Chief Medical Health Officer at Interior Health, Dr. Trevor Corneil tells Vista Radio, unlike most opioid overdoses where Naloxone can be applied, high doses of AMB-FUBINACA will cancel out its effectiveness.

“The concerning thing is if you overdose with a significant amount of this AMB-FUBINACA, if you find that someone needs Naloxone it’s not going to have the same effect. Naloxone does not block receptors to AMB-FUBINACA.”

Corneil adds it’s unfortunate this has gotten the attention it has all because of the word zombie.

“In this case, it’s unfortunate that the word zombie was used in describing the substance. The word zombie is in fact quite stigmatizing for people who use substances and could be used to describe any intoxication profile or any high.”

“The word zombie is not a description we would use clinically and I don’t think it is helpful to clients who are using it on the ground. We get alerts on a regular basis for illicit substances in the market as dealers and suppliers are always trying to sell something new, they are trying to make a buck.”

He adds AMB-FUBINACA has been a stimulating and a relaxing effect and if people use too much of it, it can depress the central nervous system and slow down breathing.

The drug has been discovered in the Thompson-Cariboo region but no cases have been confirmed within Northern Health.