IJB Audio Brief: Toxic Supply

Canada’s street drug supply is being increasingly contaminated with a new category of “ultra-potent” opioids as overdose deaths soar.

The presence of these synthetic opioids — some far more powerful than fentanyl — has quadrupled in tests of street drugs in Toronto alone, from less than one per cent before the COVID-19 pandemic to four per cent, an Investigative Journalism Bureau and Toronto Star investigation has found.

An analysis of newly obtained data on opioid overdoses across the country — including numbers from provincial coroners, street drug tests in Ontario and B.C., and a previously unpublished national drug user survey — reveals a national crisis spiking into uncharted territory during the pandemic.

IJB reporter Mashal Butt explains in our latest Audio Brief.

Mashal Butt explains the latest IJB investigation into Canada’s toxic illicit drug supply.

Read the full story in the Toronto Star.

You can find Mashal Butt on Twitter @mashalbuttt