We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Alamy Stock Photo

Number of overdoses linked to synthetic opioid nitazene in Cork city rises to 13

Nitazene is a potent and dangerous synthetic opioid that poses a risk of overdose, hospitalistation and death.

THERE HAVE BEEN 13 suspected overdoses in the Cork city area involving the synthetic opioid nitazene since last week. 

Nitazene is a potent and dangerous synthetic opioid that poses a risk of overdose, hospitalistation and death. 

On Friday, the HSE confirmed that a of eight drug-related overdoses have been reported to the HSE in the 36 hours previous. This figure has now risen to 13. 

The HSE has said there is extra risk around drug use currently and is strongly recommending that people do not try new types of drugs or new batches being sold on the market. 

It warned that the substance could be sold as a powder or as heroin without being knowing. 

The HSE last week reminded people that naloxone is available free from Cork Addiction Services. Naloxone temporarily reverses the effects of opiate-type drugs like heroin, keeping the person alive until emergency services arrive.

The health service is also asking people who use drugs to follow harm reduction steps, which can help reduce the harm if they are using substances:

  • Be aware, be extra vigilant at this time, there is increased risk at present and a number of overdoses have occurred in Cork City.
  • Avoid new batches of heroin, avoid buying from new suppliers and avoid trying new batches or new types of drugs. This brings unknown risks.
  • Access Naloxone, talk to your local service or doctor about accessing naloxone as soon as you can.
  • Avoid using alone and make a rescue plan, and let someone know you are using and where.
  • Start low and go very slow, there is an increased risk of overdose at this time.
  • Avoid using other drugs, including methadone, benzodiazepines or alcohol.
  • Get medical help immediately, look out for the signs of overdose and don’t be afraid to get medical help if someone is unwell. Stay with the person until help comes.

There have been growing concerns in recent months about a possible increase in Ireland in the use of opioids such as fentanyl and nitazenes.

Last month, over 40 people overdosed on heroin in Dublin city in the space of two days. 

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.