Seven drugs deaths in one Yorkshire town in three weeks

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Three further deaths in the Barnsley area are now being investigated as part of the wider inquiry into a series of suspected drugs deaths in the town over the past three-weeks.

South Yorkshire Police said there are new seven deaths being investigated, of which all are believed to be drugs and possibly heroin related, however officers are keeping an open mind as to the circumstances surrounding each death and continue to explore whether there are any connections between them.

The most recent death was reported on the afternoon of Wednesday May 3, with the two others reported within 24-hours of each other.

One death was reported evening of Thursday April 20 and one on the morning of Friday April 21.

Enquiries are ongoing and toxicology reports are underway.

Investigations are continuing into four deaths in Barnsley on Friday April 14

Previous warnings issued across the Yorkshire and Humber region indicated that batches of heroin may have been contaminated with Carfentanyl and another substance called Fentanyl.

Fentanyl is an anaesthesia used to help prevent pain after surgery or other medical procedures and is 100 times more potent than street heroin.

Carfentanyl is extensively stronger than Fentanyl and is used on animals.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Forber said: “Officers in South Yorkshire are working closely with investigative teams across the Yorkshire and Humber region to piece together the information we have gathered as part of our enquiries into this series of incidents.

“We continue to work with our partners in public health to raise awareness of the risks to drug users and I would urge anyone who has concerns, or has taken a substance and feels unwell, to please seek medical advice immediately.

“I would encourage anyone with information about those who may be involved in illegal drugs supply in Barnsley or anywhere in our county, to please call police on 101 or anonymously make contact with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”