Public Health England has issued a warning over a spate of drug deaths, amid concerns that fentanyl could be to blame.
Police officers in Essex have launched an investigation after six people died in 50 hours in what they suspect to be Class A drug-related deaths.
A woman in her 30s was found dead in Southend on Sunday morning, while two women and three men died on Monday and Tuesday.
In the wake of the deaths, Public Health England issued a warning to drug users advising them to “only take small amounts” of any class Class A drugs that they purchase and not to take them alone.
While police say that the investigation into “what substance or substances” have caused the fatalities, local drug addiction charities have expressed concern at the possibility that the lethal drug fentanyl could have played a role.
“We don’t know what it is at the moment, but we have our concerns. There is a strong chance it could be a bad batch of heroine. There is also a slight concern that fentanyl could be playing a part in these deaths,” an anonymous source told the Daily Telegraph.
“This pattern of deaths would fit with what we know about fentanyl. But we will have to wait and see what the toxicology reports say.”