Further intensive care admissions and deaths have occurred within inner Sydney following an alert issued in May 2021.
Use of these drugs can be life-threatening.
Know the risks
Opioids can cause unexpected, rapid and life-threatening overdose, even with the amounts contained in a single line of powder.
You are at increased risk of overdose if you:
Don’t use opioids regularly
Use a high dose
Use with other sedatives e.g. alcohol, benzodiazepines, ketamine, GHB, or other opioids
Use drugs alone.
Effects to look out for
Serious adverse effects may include loss of consciousness, slow/difficult breathing and skin turning blue.
Be on the lookout for unexpected symptoms, such as drowsiness following use of a stimulant (e.g. cocaine).
If you see the warning signs of overdose:
Seek help immediately from your nearest emergency department or call
Triple Zero (000).
CPR if someone is not breathing.
naloxone if you have it. Call '000' even if naloxone has been given.
Support and advice
For free and confidential advice:
Take Home Naloxone program
As well as people who use opioids, people who use cocaine should also consider carrying naloxone. Naloxone is an important life-saving medication that reverses the effects of opioids. It is does not require a prescription and is free for anyone at risk of opioid overdose in NSW. It is available as a nasal spray or injection from some pharmacies and other health services.
- For participating locations and more information on take-home naloxone: https://yourroom.health.nsw.gov.au/getting-help/Pages/Naloxone.aspx
Call '000' even if naloxone has been administered. Repeat doses may be required.