Crit­ics snort over co­caine-use tips

The Herald (South Africa) - - WORLD -

A SPAN­ISH city is un­der fire for dis­tribut­ing ad­vice on how to safely snort co­caine.

Plas­tic cards the size of credit cards – a tool of choice for co­caine users – were handed out by the health de­part­ment in the north­ern city of Bil­bao.

They bore mes­sages such as: “Cut your line well . . . If it is not well cut, you could dam­age your nos­trils.”

The cards had been given to peo­ple sin­gled out as users or po­ten­tial users dur­ing week-long fes­tiv­i­ties last month, a de­part­ment spokesman said.

“We didn’t hand them out to just any­one,” he said, adding that each re­cip­i­ent had been warned about the dan­gers of drugs.

News of the con­tro­ver­sial cam­paign emerged this week, spark­ing crit­i­cism from the con­ser­va­tive Pop­u­lar Party in Bil­bao.

The party said it was real non­sense to hand out a kind of con­sump­tion “kit” with such a flip­pant and friv­o­lous mes­sage.

The city coun­cil’s health chief, Yolanda Diez, said the ad­vice sim­ply sought to re­duce the risks as­so­ci­ated with tak­ing co­caine.

A health ser­vice spokesman said about 100 leaflets had been dis­trib­uted.

Spain has the high­est rate of co­caine con­sump­tion in Europe af­ter Bri­tain, ac­cord­ing to the EU’s 2017 Euro­pean Drug Re­port.

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