Cocaine Mixed with Fentanyl Pushes NYC to Share Cocaine Safety Tips
As a result of New York City seeing an increase of cocaine mixed with fentanyl on the street, NYC officials have responded with harm reduction in mind. NYC officials have visited popular bars and clubs in the area to distribute free coasters with warnings and tips written on them about the fentanyl-laced cocaine.
Every 7 Hours Someone Dies from an Overdose in NYC
The reality is that a person dies every 7 hours from a drug overdose in New York City. Now, these drug overdoses are involving cocaine mixed with fentanyl. As part of a preventative and harm-reduction method to reach the public, these free coasters inform cocaine users that if they are already using, then they should “use with others” in case they need immediate help, as well as “carry Naloxone/Narcan” in the event that there is an overdose. While some of the public may view this as “encouraging” drug use, state and health officials beg to differ.
NYC Sees Increase in Cocaine Mixed with Fentanyl
According to the health department, 37% of cocaine overdose deaths also involved fentanyl in 2016, which is an 11% increase since 2015. While New York City isn’t the only location in the country witnessing this increase of fentanyl-laced cocaine, the city is choosing to take action now by letting the public know about the potentially fatal combination on the streets.
In response to a question of whether or not these free educational coasters will encourage cocaine use, Mayor Bill de Blasio stated, “When the health department tries to figure out a public health campaign, they are very mindful of not wanting to have unintended consequences. But, let’s be blunt, tragically there’s a lot of people using cocaine and thinking it’s safe.” The Mayor also added, “Any way to tell people it’s not safe anymore and could be laced with an extraordinarily lethal drug — that’s our obligation to get that information out.”
“We Can’t Connect New Yorkers to Treatment If They Are Dead”
It was also claimed by the health department that research indicates that this type of harm-reduction approach doesn’t encourage the use of drugs, but rather acts as a way to inform the public and aid in critical preventative measures. Health officials specifically stated, “The city is not encouraging drug usage — we are encouraging safety. We can’t connect New Yorkers to treatment if they are dead.”
In fact, contact information for critical resources is also written on these free coasters along with the safety tips and warnings on cocaine mixed with fentanyl. The free coasters list that anybody can call 311 to find out where to get naloxone. In addition to this, drug users can call 888-NYC-WELL for addiction treatment.
Another resource for addiction treatment is The Watershed Addiction Treatment Program’s 24 Hour Help Line at 1-800-861-1768.
Dangers of Fentanyl
The dangers of fentanyl have never been more apparent than they are today with the Opioid Epidemic at its worst. Fentanyl can be up to 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. When a cocaine user who has no tolerance to opioids unknowingly uses cocaine mixed with fentanyl, the risk of an overdose death is incredibly high. This is why it is critical to let the public know that fentanyl could be mixed not only heroin but also in other drugs like cocaine.
Treatment for Drug Addiction
While this Drug Epidemic is at large, addiction treatment remains imperative. There are reputable drug addiction treatment facilities dedicated to helping addicts recover. The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs is a state-licensed and accredited facility that has helped over 55,000 patients since 1998. Beginning with a medical detox and inpatient drug rehab, the addiction treatment offered at The Watershed allows for patients to detox off all substances and begin receiving essential treatment for underlying issues.
If you are struggling with a drug addiction, The Watershed is here to help. Call The Watershed’s 24-Hour Help Line at 1-800-861-1768 and begin working toward a new life in recovery today.Tags: cocaine, cocaine addict, cocaine addiction, fentanyl, NYC mayor