We talked to Know Your Stuff about fentanyl popping up in NZ and how to stay safe

Right Here Right Now 29/06/2022

It was scary scenes over the weekend when 12 Kiwis were hospitalised after using the deadly drug fentanyl, which was sold to them as cocaine. 

Of the dozen people, none of them were known to each other and at least six of them were unconscious and in a serious condition when emergency services got to them, which shows just how dangerous fentanyl is. 

Because the white powdered substance looks so similar to cocaine, it can be pretty much impossible to tell the difference - but it's so powerful that even misusing a tiny amount can cause an overdose. 

Tammy and Lee chatted to Yvonne Booysen from Know Your Stuff to find out what the heck is going on and most importantly, how to get your drugs tested to avoid running into this nasty stuff. 

"We've seen fentanyl in Aotearoa once or twice before, but only in substances where people already thought there were opioids," Yvonne explained. 

It popping up in something like cocaine is a totally new situation for us.

She added that fentanyl is used is medical operations in NZ all the time, but by doctors and anaesthetists who know exactly how much they're administering. 

"It's definitely something to worry about if you're not expecting it," Yvonnne said. 

"If you think you're taking a line of cocaine it ends up being fentanyl that can end you in really serious trouble, and we're lucky that we haven't seen any fatalities from that yet." 

We've seen drug testing at festies and gigs, but how should you go about getting your gear tested if you're not at an event? 

Know Your Stuff has pop-up testing stations happening across the motu over the next wee while, and there are extra checking days happening in the Wairarapa region, where the fentanyl hospitalisations happened. 

They are encouraging anyone who has any white powder to head along and get it tested so they can see how far this thing has potentially spread. Remember, there's no cops, no names and no judgement with Know Your Stuff - they're just there to give you info. 

There's also a calendar showing all the upcoming testing days on the Know Your Stuff website. 

Stay safe out there mates!