Deadly Fentanyl Used To Strengthen Heroine Has Caused 60 Deaths

Deadly Fentanyl Used To Strengthen Heroine Has Caused 60 Deaths

By Ashley Young-

There have been at least 60 deaths in the UK in the past 8months, caused by a deadly opiate known as fentanyl, used to make heroine stronger.

The National Crime Agency has today repeated its warning to drug users, their friends and families, to be vigilant, and read the guidance issued by Public Health England in order to “protect themselves and their loved ones”.

The NCA said that since December 2016, post mortem toxicology results have shown that 60 people who had died from drug overdoses had fentanyl or its analogues, that is,  a related substance in their system. They said a further 70 suspected cases were to be tested.

Fentanyl is up to 100 times stronger than heroin, often prescribed as a painkiller for the terminally ill. Its analogue carfentanyl is 10,000 times stronger and is used as an elephant tranquilliser. As little as 0.0002 of the drug is enough to be fatal, compared with 0.1g of heroine. The NCA said that  due to the very small quantities in which Fentanyl analogues can be consumed in small doses without lethal consequences, blending theis with class A drugs is difficult and dangerous.

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The result is often inconsistent, so the mixture or dose contains ‘hotspots’, random concentrations of the fentanyl analogue”. If a user consumes a blended substance containing a hotspot, they will experience sudden and severe opioid poisoning, often with fatal consequences.”

The Agencies deputy director, Ian Cruxton, said the NCA had been working with U.K and other agencies to take action against drug dealers who are playing Russian Roulette with the lives of their customers by mixing synthetic mixing synthetic opiodes with heroine and other class A drugs. The strong alert for vigilance started earlier in the year when a number of deaths involving these opiates were announced, but the figures have gone up since them, eventually going down again in Yorkshire and Humberside where addicts have been hit most.

Heroine users are so addicted that many of them steal and exploit people, just to support their drug habit. Addicts are easy prey to those dealers bent on keeping their customers hooked. Police have recently stepped up their pursuit of heroine dealers, in light of the dubious deals being served to vulnerable heroine addicts.

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Today, police charged 25-year-old Kyle Enos from Newport, south Wales, with importing, supplying and exporting class A drugs after officers identified him using the dark web to purchase fentanyl. His arrest follows that of three men in April after a drug-mixing facility in Morley, Leeds, was raided. All were charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

A majority of the drug overdoses in the UK thought to have involved fentanyl and carfentanyl have taken place in the Yorkshire and the Humber region. In the US, fentanyl is one of the drugs responsible for the rapid rise in death overdose, and widespread opioid addiction. Well known singer, prince, died after an overdose in which the heroine batch contained carfentanyl.


Deputy Superintendant Patrick Twiggs from West Yorkshire police addressed the media about the full scale of this danger of fentanyl contaminating heroine in a fatal way. He said fentanyl and its analogues had come to the force’s attention about six months ago. Twiggs confirmed up to 50 deaths in his county alone

“We started to see an increase in apparent drugs deaths and, when the toxicology results were carried out, we weren’t finding the normal levels of heroin that we usually would in those deaths, so toxicologists started to extend their searches and look for other potential causes. [They then] happened on the group of fentanyls.”

“The drug can be manufactured by anyone with a modicum of chemical knowledge and the necessary equipment, but the main supply route is coming through the dark web, principally from China and Hong Kong,” he said.He said police forces were working with other agencies to ensure that paramedics had a sufficient supply of naloxone, which acts as an antidote in cases of opioid overdose, and training frontline police in how to use it.

“Sadly we feel this is a drug that is going to be here to stay,” said Twiggs. “Whilst we will do everything we can to stem the flow of this and supply into communities, because of its availability on the dark web, it’s something that is very difficult to control and it is freely available.”

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