Clinical update: class 1 drug – fentanyl contaminated heroin

Yellow kit bag

The Trust has been alerted to the availability of, and harms from, heroin that has been mixed with fentanyl or carfentanyl, both unusually potent synthetic opioids.

There is significant evidence both from small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures, that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers. These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of that an overdose could happen from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.

The guidance in the attached update is different to the Clinical Practice Guidelines 2016 and should be carried out following consultation with a clinical co-ordinator or the Clinical Advice Line (CAL), so please give them a call if you are with a patient, given these are very specific circumstances.

The clinical update is available on East24 in the clinical library.

Published 28th April, 2017

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