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Fentanyl, cannabis and meth use in Canada spiked during the pandemic, study shows

Fentanyl, cannabis and meth use in Canada spiked during the pandemic, study shows
Health
TORONTO -- The use of fentanyl, cannabis and methamphetamines spiked across cities in Canada during the early pandemic, according to a study which analyzed wastewater in major cities.

To get this latest data, government researchers looked at wastewater in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver; and then analyzed the chemicals in the water which are created when peoples bodies break down a drug.

Since 2019, the wastewater survey has been looking at samples from the cites various wastewater treatment plants. The latest study compared samples from March to July 2019 and from January to July 2020.

Scientists saw that each city showed varying prevalence of the different types of drugs:

StatCan said the ongoing collection of wastewater samples will "contribute to a better understanding of the progression and the shifting landscape of drug consumption across Canada during and beyond the pandemic."

Researchers also urged local public health officials and law enforcement to use the data to target their harm reduction strategies.
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