It is known as ‘Serial Killer’ or ‘Drop Dead’ and it’s responsible for several drug-related fatalities in the UK. The National Crime Agency (NCA) is warning drug addicts about the deadly consequences of using this new street drug, which is 100 times more potent than street heroin. It contains heroin mixed with fentanyl or its chemical derivative carfentanil, an opioid used by vets to tranquilise elephants.
‘Serial Killer’ has already led to the deaths of more than six drug users in South and West Yorkshire as well as in Humberside and Cleveland. And the drug is rapidly spreading across the UK.
Tony Saggers, chief of Drugs Threat and Intelligence at the NCA, issued a statement saying:
“The NCA’s operation with West Yorkshire Police to locate and disrupt an illicit drugs laboratory during the last 72 hours has indicated that it may be a source for the production of fentanyl and other analogues. In particular, we now believe UK customers beyond the north-east region are likely to have received consignments of these drugs.”
He went on to warn drug users to be vigilant when purchasing their drugs of choice. The NCA report further stated: “I am particularly concerned that drug dealers within established heroin markets may have purchased fentanyl, carfentanil, or similar substances from this facility. They may not know how dangerous it is, both to them when they handle it, and to their customers. Even in the unlikely event that users know their drugs contain fentanyl, the chances of overdosing are high. Carfentanil is fatal in doses as small as 0.00002g, which equates to a few grains.”
Director of Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco at Public Health England, Rosanna O’Connor, similarly stated: “We are urging heroin users to be extra careful about what they are taking. They need to look out for each other and be alert to any signs of an overdose, such as lack of consciousness, shallow or no breathing, ‘snoring,’ and blueing of the lips and fingertips. If possible, they should use naloxone if someone overdoses, and immediately call for an ambulance. We strongly advise all dependent drug users to get support from local drug services.”
The NCA went on to sternly warn drug dealers: “If you have invested in fentanyl to mix with heroin or other drugs, please stop immediately and reduce the risk that more people will die. The criminal justice implications of supplying fentanyl mixed into other drugs will inevitably be deemed as aggravating and claiming ignorance of the consequences is no defence.”
Where Can I Get Help for My Addiction?
Middlegate is a professional alcohol and drug advice and treatment centre with a helpline that is staffed 24/7. If you have a drug problem, it is important that you get treatment as soon as possible. The longer you wait to get that treatment, the more difficult the process becomes.
Your first step is to acknowledge that you have an issue with drugs and that you need help to overcome that problem. The next step is to give us a call and to talk to one of our friendly counsellors who will be able to answer your questions and guide you through the process. He or she will be able to tell you what steps to follow, as well as advise you on a suitable rehab facility for your specific needs. Where necessary, we can arrange immediate admission into a rehab clinic for you. We can also offer advice on staging a family intervention should you need one.
What Addiction Treatment Options Are Available?
At Middlegate, there are several treatment options available. Depending on your unique situation, we may use just one or a combination of these therapies to help you address the deeper, underlying emotional issues that have contributed to you resorting to taking drugs. The most common therapy is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which is a talk-based therapy where you and your therapist explore your emotional issues and together find ways for you to learn to deal with them. You will learn new life skills as well as new coping mechanisms to use when you face life without the ‘help’ of drugs.
other therapies could include music and art therapy, meditation, and group therapy.
Once you have completed your treatment, you will also have access to a year’s free aftercare to help you stay sober.