Health authority under fire for handing out ‘cocaine sniffing kits’ to drug users

Plastic cards the size of credit cards — a tool of choice for cocaine users — were handed out by the health department in Bilbao (AFP Photo/Rafa RIVAS)

A health department in Spain has been criticised for handing out ‘cocaine sniffing kits’ to drug users – in a bid to protect their nostrils.

Authorities in Bilbao handed out plastic cards (used for ‘chopping up’ cocaine) freely to drug users, with a message urging them to cut up their cocaine finely for the good of their noses.

One message said, ‘Cut your line properly… If it is not properly cut, you could damage your nostrils.’


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The cards were handed out to people the department believed to be users or potential users, along with a warning about the danger of drugs.

A spokesman for the health department said, ‘We didn’t hand them out to just anyone.’

The conservative Popular Party criticised the campaign, saying that the messages were ‘flippant and frivolous’, AFP reports – and describing the campaign as ‘nonsense’.

Spain has the second-highest rate of cocaine use in Europe – after Britain.

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