Fentanyl Laced Cocaine is Killing People in the Bay Area
Seeing as New Year’s Eve is nearly here, and people will be partying their faces off on the last night of the year/decade, I figured it was really important to get this public service announcement out there:
DON’T do cocaine.
Honestly, I have no problem with recreational drug use. I’ve definitely done my fair share, but fentanyl laced coke keeps killing people in the Bay Area. Here’s an article in the Chronicle from last week about Aaron Hall and Jamez Manning, two young men in the music scene who just accidentally OD’d from what is suspected to be fentanyl laced cocaine. Here’s another article from the Chronicle about the rise in fentanyl as powerful contaminant of other street drugs, which is “leading people to overdose because they didn’t even know they were taking it”. And here’s yet another article on the subject from the East Bay Times.
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Abraham over at Bay Area Memes posted something about not doing blow because it’s laced with fentanyl and killing people and a paramedic in Oakland responded with the following:
Chicken John nailed it though in his post on Facebook. It includes advice from a Bay Area nurse:
OK kids. We got 3 friends down. For the last decade or two all that coke you’ve been doing is meth. And now it’s meth cut with fentanyl. As a person who has snorted a mountain of cocaine and who hasn’t touched an opiate in 25 years (and counting) ya gotta listen to me. It’s different now. This is a different game. It’s a different deal, outside of other stigmas. Yes, street drugs are “bad”. But this is more brutal. This is more like murder. Where you die. If you are not willing to get Narcan if you’re gonna party then at this time you are just a spoiled rotten idiot. And if you do have Narcan and you follow the advice of nurse and have one person test the dope to see if they die before everyone else does it then I have to ask you at what point is it worth it? Smoke a joint put the powders in the rear view mirror. And if you can’t stop because you have a problem NOW is the time to say so. Before we bury you.
From a nurse friend who is seeing an uptick in OD’s “Ok kids. It’s time, if you party with drugs, at this point I’d say any drugs other than say weed, you should have a few doses on Narcan on hand. So this is what you do, you’re about to snort or smoke some drugs with friends, have one person go first and give it ten minutes before everyone digs in. This way you don’t all go down at once.
Opiates kill you by turning down the part of your brain that reminds you to breathe. You know what that means? It means that rescue breathing can keep your friend alive until EMS arrives. Or you give Narcan and wait 2 minutes, if there is no response give another dose. Continue to give rescue breaths until the person regains consciousness. Do not use a supply of drugs that you have not used before alone. You can’t spot yourself.
Also, if you buy pills on the street, you are also at risk. A lot of the pills are counterfeit and contain fentanyl. Pills are going to take longer than ten minutes to hit someone’s system and let you know if they are safe.
There are fentanyl test strips, but they’re a little tricky. If you don’t do it right you can get false positives.
Teach your children this stuff. Don’t assume what they are doing or not doing, don’t feel like sharing this information condones drug use. If nothing else they should know it to protect their friends.”
If you feel you still NEED to do coke, PLEASE get yourself some Narcan, it’s free! Our friend Cynthia posted the following image in the comments of Chicken John’s post. She also sent over this very handy list of needle exchange/syringe access times and locations in San Francisco. That’s where you can get fentanyl test strips and injectable Narcan. Also, you can get fentanyl test strips from Dance Safe right here.