Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Police warning over contaminated heroin on Isle of Man

Generic heroin user
Image caption Police urged anyone taking heroin to seek advice from health professionals

Manx police are warning that a shortage of heroin has led to a number of users taking dangerous alternatives.

Police say users have needed hospital treatment after taking what they thought was a small amount of heroin.

The drug was subsequently found to contain powerful sedatives, large amounts of caffeine and paracetamol.

Shelly Stanley, from the drug advice service, said: "This substance is an unregulated product and is subject to no controls whatsoever."

She added: "Dealers do not intentionally set out to kill-off their customers but the risks are high when mixing sedatives with heroin."

Police believe there is currently one of the most severe "droughts" of heroin for five years.

A spokesman said: "The shortage is due to a fungus that has infested this year's poppy crop in Afghanistan, literally reducing it by half."

All heroin users are advised to seek help from the Isle of Man drug helpline.

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