Heroin users warned over deadly drugs '100 times stronger than morphine' still circulating in Northamptonshire

Cutting agent isotonitazene has been linked to number of overdoses in county

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 12:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 12:50 pm

Police are warning drug users about a potentially deadly cutting agent still circulating in Northamptonshire.

Officers first sounded an alert over the agent isotonitazene back in July and believe it was directly linked to at least four dangerous overdoses in Kettering last month.

Isotonitazene is a synthetic opioid analgesic around 100 times stronger than morphine.

Police are warning users about a potentially lethal batch of drugs circulating in the county

Public Health England issued a National Patient Safety warning after a sharp rise in drug overdoses resulted in 16 deaths in areas around the country, including in neighbouring Thames Valley.

Northamptonshire Police Detective Inspector Gary Collins said: “The most important responsibility that a police officer has is to protect and preserve life, and we do that without fear or favour.

“That means that whilst we would never advocate anyone taking drugs, we want to warn people who do about a potentially lethal substance that may be in the drugs they are taking.

“While taking drugs always comes with danger and we absolutely do not condone their use, it is imperative for us to warn drug users about this potential threat to their lives.

“Of course, the best way to prevent this kind of danger is to not take drugs at all. Anyone doing so recreationally or otherwise is putting their life at risk every single time.

“But, if you are a drug user in Northamptonshire, please be mindful of this cutting agent and please share this warning with other people too.”

Anyone with any information, or concerns about drugs in their community, is urged to call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Northamptonshire Police offers help to drug users through its Citadel programme, developed using the latest research and is designed to tackle addiction with support rather than by criminalising.

Officers also advise users to make sure they read about and carry a naloxone overdose reversal kit.