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Drug alert issued after fentanyl found in crack cocaine in New West

Fraser Health has issued a drug alert after “white waxy chunks” sold as crack cocaine test positive for fentanyl
Fraser Health has issued a drug alert in New Westminster.

Fraser Health has issued a “drug alert” after multiple samples of crack cocaine have tested positive for fentanyl in New Westminster.

The alert, issued on Tuesday, Aug. 29, advises people to look out for each other. If someone overdoses, they are advised to call 911 and stay with them, give one breath every five seconds and give naloxone.

An email being circulated to local non-profits states that white waxy chunks sold as crack cocaine have tested positive for fentanyl.

Nick Eagland, a senior communications consultant in public affairs, said the alert was issued after Fraser Health’s drug-checking service in New Westminster identified fentanyl in multiple crack cocaine samples.

“We issued an alert as it is unusual for multiple people to bring in substances they believe to only contain stimulants, and have them test positive for fentanyl,” he said in an email to the Record. “For people who do not use opioids, the presence of any fentanyl can be highly toxic.”

Fraser Health issues drug alerts to ensure people in the region have access to more information about toxic drugs circulating in the community, he said.

Here are some tips from Fraser Health for safer drug use:

  • * Stagger use with friends so someone can respond if needed.
  • * Start with a low dose and go slow. Take a small amount, wait and see how it feels.
  • * If using alone: let someone know and ask them to check on you.
  • * Download the Lifeguard or BeSafe apps (available on Apple/Android).
  • * Call the National Overdose Response Service at 1-888-688-6677 if you do not have cell data.
  • * Be aware that mixing substances increases risk of overdose; this includes alcohol and prescription drugs.
  • * Sign up to receive overdose alerts via text to your cellphone by texting JOIN to ALERTS (253787) or via email at
  • * Consider drug checking: Fraser Health offers drug checking, which helps community members check their drugs for fentanyl and other contaminants. In order to test for benzodiazepine, Fraser Health recommend visiting a drug checking site equipped with a fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer.

Fraser Health also asks people to consider options for witnessed consumption and local overdose prevention sites. In New Westminster, witnessed consumption is available at the health contact centre at 40 Begbie St. (accessed via Alexander Street, just below Carnarvon Street.)

Along with witnessed consumption, the health contact centre in downtown New Westminster is a place where people can get supplies such as clean drug supplies, drug-checking kits, small disposal kits for needles and naloxone kits, and access information about substance use, addiction, overdose prevention and safe disposal of needles.

The alert comes just before International Overdose Awareness Day, which is on Thursday, Aug. 31.

“On Aug. 31, International Overdose Awareness Day, we remember those who have died as a result of the continued, devastating toxic drug crisis and we acknowledge the grief of the family and friends they left behind,” Eagland said.

In recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day, the Purpose Society Join will attempt to set a world record for the largest Naloxone training session. Community members are invited to attend the free event taking place in Moody Park.  

For drug overdose emergency resource and information, visit

The latest statistics from the BC Coroners Service show that 20 people in New West are suspected to have died of toxic drugs in the first seven months of 2023.