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In response to alerts about the synthetic opioid fentanyl being mixed with heroin supplies, and it’s continued widespread media coverage, BDP has completed some localised testing for fentanyl to establish the current picture in Bristol.
By working alongside fifty people from across Bristol who are currently using heroin, we found that zero of the fifty tests proved positive for fentanyl. While this does not rule out the possibility that fentanyl may have previously been mixed into a heroin supply in Bristol, or may be in the future, we are able to report that this is not the case right now.
We would like to thank the fifty BDP service users who agreed to take part in our fentanyl tests, allowing us to give clear messages about the current risks, grounded in evidence.
CEO Maggie Telfer said, “People who use heroin run the risk of an overdose every day. We always try to get evidence of elevated risks rather than give warnings about ‘strong batches’ or ‘contaminated supply’, or in this case ‘fentanyl’, as there is a real risk of ‘crying wolf’. If there is evidence of an increased local risk we need people to really hear it and take the greatest care.”
We would also like to thank BDP staff for their continuous hard work in promoting ‘health-positive’ relationships with our service users, allowing for testing like this to be possible.
BDP continues to provide free training and supply of Naloxone (which reverses opioid overdose) at large scale, distributing 1093 doses between April 2016 and March 2017. During this time 155 people returned for a new supply having potentially used that Naloxone to help save a life.
To find out more about Naloxone, ask to speak to someone in our Walk-In Centres.
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