Fentanyl again in the media spotlight

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Following a media release by Know Your Stuff, fentanyl has again been in the media. Our Executive Director was interviewed as part of an item on TVONE News.

Our information is that fentanyl availability in New Zealand remains limited. It’s not new to the country either and has been available in pill or patch form. As a peer based peer led programme, we have good connections within our community and we’re pretty confident that the information we have is pretty accurate.

Fentanyl is a major factor in the current opioid crisis in North America and parts of Europe, due in a large part to street heroin being contaminated with the drug. However, the drug scene in New Zealand is very different and we don’t have the same issues. This doesn't mean it couldn't happen here and we must continue to watch/learn from the situation overseas. However, it’s also important we don't confuse and conflate the two.

We've certainly more work to do in terms of strengthening harm reduction approaches including drug checking and naloxone availability if we are to be able to effectively respond if the situation changes here.

At the NEP we're working hard on these along with other partners.