W-18 is a dangerous, man-made drug not regulated in Canada under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act. This means it can be made and sold freely. Not much is known about these drugs, making them very dangerous.
W-18 is not used for medical reasons and it isn’t prescribed by doctors. W-18 is only in street drugs.
First developed in the 1980s, W-18 is much more toxic (poisonous) than the other W series drugs. Because it was never classified under the Canadian Controlled Drug and Substance Act, it can be sold freely. Recent research has called into question whether W-18 and the other W series drugs are in fact opioids because they don’t seem to have the same effect on the body.
No matter what you buy on the street, you can’t tell if it contains W-18 or fentanyl. Drugs bought on the street are never safe.
Yes. If you take too much W-18, you can die if you stop breathing or from poisoning. The early signs of W-18 poisoning may include:
Yes. You can get addicted to W-18. If you use opioids a lot, you may find you’ve developed a tolerance and need more each time to feel the same effects. You can become mentally and physically dependent on W-18.
People addicted to opioids may have withdrawal symptoms when they quit, including:
Mild withdrawal symptoms usually start 12 to 30 hours after the last time you took an opioid. The worst symptoms go away within a few days, but it can take months to feel back to normal. Opioid withdrawal can be very uncomfortable, so it's best to stop using under supervised care.
Call 911 right away if you think you may have W-18 poisoning.
Call the Addiction and Mental Health 24-hour Helpline at
1-866-332-2322 if you’re concerned about your (or someone else’s) misuse of W-18 or if you’d like more information about drug use. You can also go to
drugsfool.ca for more information on naloxone, fentanyl, W-18, and about how to get help.
The Poison and Drug Information Service (PADIS) is a free, confidential, 24/7 service for Albertans. Staff are specially trained to assess and manage exposures to drugs like W-18 at
Current as of: July 22, 2016
Author: Poison and Drug Information Services (PADIS)
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