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RCMP Seizes ‘Safer Supply’ Pills in Two Busts, Identifies as Troubling Trend

The RCMP have seized over 10,000 prescription pills, including many government-funded “safer supply” pills, in recent drug busts in Prince George, B.C.

Mounties also seized 3,500 pills, with a significant number being safer supply pills, during a recent bust on Vancouver Island. In both incidents, safer supply pills were discovered alongside illicit drugs like fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

Cpl. Jennifer Cooper issued a strong statement about the dangers of criminal organizations diverting safer supply drugs.

“We have noticed an alarming increase in the discovery of prescription drugs during drug trafficking operations over the past year. These drugs are being used as a means to purchase more potent street drugs,” she mentioned in a March 7 press release regarding the busts in Prince George.

“Organized crime groups are actively involved in redistributing safe supply and prescription drugs, with some being transferred out of British Columbia for resale. This resale significantly boosts the profits of organized crime.”

While advocates of safer supply, including Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry, acknowledge diversion as an issue, they have downplayed the impacts.

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BC Rebrands Safer Supply, Pushes Ahead as ‘Landmark’ Study Scrutinized
Adam Zivo: ‘Safer Supply’ Is the OxyContin Crisis All Over Again “Some diversion is occurring, but the extent and impacts are unknown,” Ms. Henry stated in her review of safer supply programs released on Feb. 1. She pointed out the potential harms of diversion, including increased access to opioids for youth and the normalization of risky use due to reduced recovery incentives.
But Ms. Henry and the NDP government in British Columbia have affirmed their dedication to expanding the safer supply program in the province. They argue that it is essential to prevent drug overdoses, asserting that individuals are more at risk of overdose when purchasing street drugs compared to receiving “safer supply” from pharmacies.
Federal funding for numerous safer supply programs is set to end this month, sparking a debate on the benefits and drawbacks of these programs ahead of potential funding renewal.

Diversion to Teens

Many addiction experts and others have raised concerns about diversion, particularly concerning pills sold to young people who might be introduced to opioid addiction in this way. Hydromorphone provides a relatively mild high to many patients, leading some to sell the pills and use the money to buy fentanyl.

Cpl. Cooper believes that safer supply hydromorphone is being diverted to teenagers.

She expressed concerns that youth are experimenting with it under the false assumption that it’s safe due to being a prescription drug.

Items seized during a bust in Campbell River, British Columbia, on Feb. 21, 2024. (Courtesy of RCMP)
Items seized during a bust in Campbell River, British Columbia, on Feb. 21, 2024. (Courtesy of RCMP)
Hydromorphone is highly addictive, causing the brain to release large amounts of dopamine, leading to dependency. According to, two or three pills can induce a fatal overdose in an opioid-naive user.

“Two or three of these pills is enough to induce a fatal overdose in an opioid-naive user and, when mixed with alcohol, even just a single pill can be fatal,” according to Breaking the Needle.

Other Police Reports on Hydromorphone Trafficking

When The Epoch Times inquired with the RCMP about safer supply diversion, the responses varied from Cpl. Cooper’s stance.

Sgt. Kim Chamberland mentioned that hydromorphone diversion was more common over a decade ago, but the demand for it is currently low across the country.

Sgt. Chamberland did not verify any seizure of safer supply pills.

Regarding hydromorphone sold to teenagers, the response indicated that younger individuals tend to use stimulants rather than opioids.

Multiple drug busts nationwide have found hydromorphone alongside substances like cocaine and methamphetamine. Several of these incidents suggested evidence of safer supply pills being diverted.

The Epoch Times reached out to Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) regarding hydromorphone trafficking in the region.

NRPS stated, “Detectives…are aware that hydromorphone trafficking is occurring within our region,” but did not confirm or deny the occurrence of teens accessing hydromorphone.

Sgt. Chamberland mentioned that some criminals are manufacturing pills resembling safer supply hydromorphone to create a false sense of safety.

Cpl. Cooper suggested that the safer supply program needs reassessment, stating, “[It] clearly is not being used in the way it was intended.”

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has opposed safer supply programs and called on British Columbia to halt the flow of these drugs into Alberta.

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