Steps to follow for people who use heroin, to reduce the risk of harm from consuming fentanyl/carfentanil
Do not use alone; make sure that someone you trust is present, and equipped with naloxone
Make sure there is sufficient naloxone available. You will need more naloxone to recover from an overdose of fentanyl/carfentanil that you would need for a heroin overdose
- Smoke a small amount on foil before attempting to use intravenously. You are very unlikely to die from smoking fentanyl/carfentanil-laced heroin as you would fall unconscious before inhaling the lethal dose
This does not apply if you have already consumed depressants, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines
- Like injecting, snorting fentanyl/carfentanil-laced heroin can be potentially fatal
- If injecting, start with a dose that is one-quarter of what you usually use
Don’t “slam” your hit. Depress the plunger slowly, pausing to allow the familiar dose to take effect. If you feel it is unusually strong or sedating, pull it out.
- Be aware of the signs of overdose:
- Immediate disorientation, including nodding into unconsciousness
- Losing muscle control (particularly in the knees or neck)
- Cyanosis (skin turning blue)
- Falling unconscious particularly before removing the needle
Being aware of these overdose signs can help you look after someone who is using heroin, and can help them look after you if you overdose – this is why it’s important to not use alone
- Follow the news to see if there are reported fentanyl/carfentanil overdoses or deaths in your area
Information provided by Release.