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Police Issue Warning After Finding Dangerous Substance In Australian Cocaine And Ketamine

Police Issue Warning After Finding Dangerous Substance In Australian Cocaine And Ketamine

Authorities have found the drugs are laced with a strong opioid that could cause people to overdose.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Australian police have issued a warning to cocaine and ketamine users in New South Wales to be wary of using the drug after a dangerous substance was found in test samples.

While taking coke and ket always carries a risk, NSW Health has revealed traces of fentanyl and acetylfentanylhave also been recorded.

Fentanyl and acetylfentanyl are used in hospitals as a strong anaesthetic, however people use it recreationally as it's around 100 times and 15 times stronger than morphine respectively.

The drug has killed scores of people in America and Canada and authorities are concerned after finding it in Aussie coke and ket.

The fear is that drug dealers are cutting the usual white substances with fentanyl to give it an extra kick, however unsuspecting users could be very adversely affected and could even overdose.


The fentanyl laced cocaine and ketamine has been discovered in Sydney and regional parts of New South Wales.

NSW poison expert Andrew Dawson said people have already suffered potentially life-threatening effects from taking the spiked drugs.

"We've seen several people recently where acetylfentanyl was taken unknowingly and was associated with serious harm," he said.

"The side effects of acetylfentanyl include drowsiness, loss of consciousness and slowed breathing, and when taken unknowingly can cause life-threatening effects."

Anyone who has done cocaine or ketamine will know they only have to have a small amount of the drug for it to take effect. However the amount of fentanyl that can cause an overdose is absolutely tiny by comparison. You only need a grain or two before your body is paralysed and you stop breathing. It's an awful death that no one should endure.

A lethal dose of fentanyl for the average human.
United States Drug Enforcement Administration

This isn't the first time that police have discovered drugs laced with fentanyl.

Following a wave of overdoses believed to be attributed to the drug, police in Canada made the unprecedented move of publishing one dealer's number on Facebook, urging potential 'customers' to avoid him.

A string of overdoses in the north east of England were also linked to the drug, when dealers began mixing fentanyl with heroin in order to increase the amount of money they could make. This often deadly cocktail was then sold to street-users who had no idea what they were buying. At least six people died in Teeside during the beginning of 2017 as a result.

Unless you have a testing kit on you, there's no way of knowing the cocaine or ketamine that you're about to take will contain the potentially deadly drug.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Drugs, Australia