What’s Contaminating Toronto’s Drug Supply? Insights from Samples Checked by Toronto’s Drug Checking Service January 1 – December 31, 2021

On behalf of its members, Toronto’s drug checking service, is releasing What’s Contaminating Toronto’s Drug Supply?, a report summarizing insights from samples checked between January 1 – December 31, 2021.

This report is a departure from previous community reports, focusing less on overall trends and more on the contamination of Toronto’s unregulated drug supply, and in particular, the unregulated fentanyl supply.

In 2021, the service checked 2,886 samples – a 74% increase as compared to 2020. Approximately 50% of samples checked in 2021 were expected to be fentanyl. The emergence of nitazene opioids, the volatility and variety of benzodiazepine-related drugs presenting, as well as the continued presence of noteworthy drugs like xylazine, were some of the observations made by Toronto’s drug checking service about Toronto’s unregulated fentanyl supply.

Why do we think nitazene opioids are presenting in fentanyl? What noteworthy drugs or contaminants are being found in crack cocaine? How would Toronto’s drug checking service like to see policymakers respond to the drug poisoning and overdose crises? Read our report to find out the answers to these questions, to learn more about what’s contaminating the most commonly checked drugs, as well as to review significant operational accomplishments from 2021.