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Fentanyl Laced Cocaine is Killing People in the Bay Area

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image from High Times

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.


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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.


  1. jimi008
    April 20, 2020 at 7:22 am

    “For the last decade or two all that coke you’ve been doing is meth”?? Providing people with cautionary information is very important, but It’s extremely irresponsible to publish articles with blatantly incorrect information and doing so compromises the integrity of any other important information you’ve provided here.

    • gorge jung
      April 20, 2020 at 7:22 am

      How much you sell a gram for?

      • Mtthew Grza
        April 20, 2020 at 7:24 am

        what does that have to do with being informed and not believing everything you read on the internet?

    • Jibber Jabber
      April 20, 2020 at 7:24 am

      Nah, it happened to me, and other friends. I was up late doing work. A co-worker offered me a bump, I thought what the hell, it might help, more than Redbull. After taking it, I totally couldn’t focus, so I went home and couldn’t sleep for hours on end. It was annoying as hell. Gotta watch out for those just offering “a bump.” A bump of what!? It was crystal meth. Lucky not infused with fentanyl! Anyway, coke is so short lived stimulant, that I don’t think it’s really worth it, unless you have lots of money to buy the right stuff, then deal with heart issues later on.

    • Mtthew Grza
      April 20, 2020 at 7:24 am

      I second that statement. Completely false and when i read that, it made me question the validity of the entire article. Seems like these guys were doing something that looked like coke but was something else. It makes no sense why someone would lace cocaine with fentanyl when its being consumed by the very people that they rely on for income.

      • Jibber Jabber
        April 20, 2020 at 10:43 am

        Not all dealers are conscientious, or have the smarts to think about the long term consequences, right?

      • Eric Espejo
        April 20, 2020 at 10:43 am

        There’s always more drug users to buy product and the sad truth is when someone OD’s on your shit it creates demand for it. A junkies brain isn’t logical, they don’t see someone ODing as a warning to stay away, they see it as a dealer having really good shit.

      • Mtthew Grza
        April 20, 2020 at 11:16 am

        Regardless if what you are saying is true or not, the claim that was quoted in the article is completely false and has no facts to support that its even remotely true.

  2. Scott Mansfield
    April 20, 2020 at 7:22 am

    FFS…thousands of people in the drug trade, and innocent bystanders, in Latin and South America have been tortured and murdered for decades so people with more money than sense can do coke. Find some other way to get high people.

    • whoknows
      April 20, 2020 at 7:24 am

      Thank you. I don’t want people, ANY people, to O.D. But coke is the dumbest drug.

      • Jibber Jabber
        April 20, 2020 at 10:43 am

        Haha, drugs IMO are used by those in pain of some sort or another. And they often want to escape their reality. The solution is to help them come to terms and deal with their pain. That is rarely acknowledged or promoted. Drug industries(legal or not) make money off of people’s miseries. So they don’t have incentives to really help people. Portugal did pretty well, but it works take a lot of public awareness and incentives to shift the reality in the US.

  3. June 30, 2020 at 6:18 am

    Thanks for sharing this with the public.
    Keep up with write ups like this so we can learn more online. I look forward to visiting this site over and over again just to read articles published by you.