Hereford & Worcester

Suspected 'potent' drug fentanyl seized in Malvern

Heroin Image copyright PA
Image caption Several police forces have advised drug users to be vigilant

Officers say they may have seized a drug which is "many times more potent" than heroin from a property in Malvern.

A small quantity of possibly the "extremely potent synthetic opioid analgesics" fentanyl was found in Yates Hay Road, West Mercia Police said.

Ch Insp Jim Baker said the "new and particularly dangerous drug" carried an increased risk of over-dosing.

A 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of controlled substances.

Mr Baker said officers had acted on information to protect the Malvern area against the supply of Class A drugs.

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"We would like to reassure the community that illegal drug use is a matter that we take very seriously and we are working hard to protect people from harm," he said.

He appealed for anyone with information to contact the force.

What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is an extremely strong painkiller, prescribed for severe chronic pain, or breakthrough pain which does not respond to regular painkillers.

It is an opioid painkiller which means it works by mimicking the body's natural painkillers, called endorphins, which block pain messages to the brain.

The risk of harm is higher if the wrong dose or strength is used.

Typical symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include slow and difficult breathing, nausea and vomiting, dizziness and increased blood pressure.

Mr Baker advised any drug-users who think they may have been exposed to the drug or who were experiencing unexpected symptoms to seek urgent medical attention.

The painkiller, which hit the headlines after it was linked to the death of US singer Prince, is considered to be 50 times more potent than heroin according to America's Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

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