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Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Worse Than Heroin.
more potent than heroin linked to deaths of 60 people in UK.
Sixty people have died in the UK in the past eight
months, in circumstances believed to be linked to a drug more potent than
heroin, it has been revealed.
Fentanyl and its analogues - chemical adaptations - are being mixed with
heroin and in some cases proving fatal, the National Crime Agency
Users are being warned that dealers are playing "Russian roulette" with
their lives by lacing heroin and other class A drugs with synthetic
The NCA and West Yorkshire Police raided a laboratory suspected of
producing fentanyl and one of its analogues carfentanyl in
Fentanyl is around 50 times more potent that heroin, while carfentanyl
can be up to 10,000 times stronger than street heroin.
The 60 victims, whose post mortem results indicated their drug-related
deaths were known to be linked to fentanyl or one of its variants, were
predominantly men and a range of ages, with none younger than 18, the NCA
The agency's deputy director Ian Cruxton said: "The NCA has been working
with partners, both in the UK and overseas, to take action against those drug
dealers who are playing Russian roulette with the lives of their customers by
mixing synthetic opioids with heroin and other class A
While fentanyl can be legally prescribed as a painkiller, sometimes in
the form of a patch or nasal spray, carfentanyl is only used as an anaesthetic
for large animals including elephants, Mr Cruxton said.
"We believe the illicit supply from Chinese manufacturers and
distributors constitutes a prime source for both synthetic opioids and the
pre-cursor chemicals used to manufacture them," he added.
Recent NCA investigations have uncovered that fentanyl and its analogues
are being both supplied in and exported from the UK, he
The April raid at a drug-mixing facility in Morley, Leeds, resulted in
three people being charged with conspiracy to supply and export class A
The NCA said it had identified 443 customers of that "criminal
enterprise" - 271 overseas, and 172 within the UK.
A fourth man was charged on Monday night, following a separate
investigation in May, after police said they identified him using the so-called
dark web to buy fentanyl or synthetic opioids.
Kyle Enos, of Maindee Parade in Gwent, is accused of importing, supplying
and exporting class A drugs.
The 25-year-old is due in court in Cardiff at the end of the
Following links between fentanyl and deaths this year in the north of
England, Public Health England (PHE) said it began an urgent
Pete Burkinshaw, the organisation's alcohol and drug treatment and
recovery lead, said the "sharp increase" in overdoses that had been feared did
not appear to have materialised.
He said: "We have been working with drug testing labs and local drug
services to get more information on confirmed and suspected
"We do not have a full picture, but the deaths in Yorkshire do appear to
have peaked earlier in the year and fallen since our national alert and,
encouragingly, our investigations in other parts of the country suggest we are
not seeing the feared sharp increase in overdoses.
"Investigations are ongoing and plans are in place for a scaled-up
response if necessary."
PHE is working with the Local Government Association to increase the
availability of naloxone, an overdose antidote, to drug users and at hostels and
outreach centres. Aol