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NS Health Authority Issues Warning Over Contaminated Cocaine

By Evan Taylor Jan 5, 2023 | 1:54 PM

Imagens Evangélicas / CC

The Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) is reporting that seven people in the province have suffered adverse reactions to what is believed to be contaminated cocaine in the past week.

The first incident involving the contaminated drugs took place on New Years Eve in the Windsor/West Hants area, where three people suffered from various symptoms of drug poisoning after using cocaine including, blue lips, loss of head/neck control, and becoming unresponsive.

The second incident took place two days later on January 2 in Halifax which saw four people suffer from delayed onset seizures.

The NSHA specifically noted in the Halifax incident that the cocaine was snorted, while no specifics were provided on how the drugs were taken in the Windsor/West Hants incident.

In light of the news, the NSHA has provided a list of ways for those who use illicit drugs to mitigate some of the risks.

Harm Reduction Info (Per NSHA)

  •  Don’t use alone, if possible.
    •  Overdose Prevention Sites support harm reduction by providing equipment and a safe and caring space for people to use drugs. These sites are equipped to respond to overdoses and connect people to important health and social services.
      – ReFIX Halifax Overdose Prevention Site, 2107 Brunswick St. Halifax; 902-209-9370
      – PeerSix Overdose Prevention Site, 75 Prince St. Sydney; 902-567-1766
    •  If you are using alone, call the National Overdose Response Service (NORS) phone line at 1-888-688-NORS. It is a 24/7 phone line available for anyone in Canada to call and the operator will “spot” you while you use. For more information visit www.nors.ca.
      -Alternatively, call a trusted support person and let them know you are using alone and provide them with your location.
  • Start with a test dose. Start low, go slow.
  • Have naloxone available, even if you aren’t intentionally using opioids. Although naloxone only works to reverse opioid overdoses, there is no harm in administering it if you are unsure what kind of overdose you are witnessing. Naloxone is available for free from most community pharmacies and other community locations, including needle distribution and disposal organizations. For more info about where to get a free naloxone kit, http://www.nsnaloxone.com/
  •  Call 911 in the event of an overdose. Know your rights – http://www.nsnaloxone.com/good-samaritan-act.html


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