Fentanyl, a potent opioid, was also detected in some of these cases.

It is a significant concern that bromazepam is becoming more prevalent in the street drug supply in New Brunswick, according to Dr. Yves Léger. The fact that people are unaware that their street drugs contain it is especially concerning. Bromazolam is not detectable by sight, smell, or taste, so there are no warning signs. The signs are not there.”

These deaths took place from July to November. Léger said testing could take months to complete, so there may still be a risk to drug users.

Bromazolam is not approved for medical use in any country and can lead to serious adverse effects, including death, especially when taken with opioids such as fentanyl.

Léger said there is increasing concern over combinations of benzodiazepines (benzos), such as bromazolam, with opioids, also known as benzo-dope. Taking benzos and opioids together increases the risk of overdose and death. In contrast to opioids, naloxone, often used to prevent overdose, does not affect benzos.


Bromazolam is a designer benzodiazepine first detected in British Columbia in January 2021. Post-mortem cases were analyzed using a wide blood drug screen by liquid-chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry before being retrospectively analyzed with an in-house Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) data processing method. Bromazolam was detected in 41 post-mortem cases in 2021 and quantitatively confirmed by standard addition using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.