Too-pure heroin kills 10 people

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The Independent Online
A BATCH of exceptionally pure heroin is thought to have killed 10 people in one city in the past two months.

The two latest overdose victims were found in Bristol on Thursday night. The police are concerned that other drug users are at threat from the heroin, which is 50 to 60 per cent more pure than normal.

Since February nine men and one woman, all aged from their late twenties to early thirties, have been found dead in and around the city centre. Victims have been found in public toilets, night shelters and a car park.

One of the latest victims was a man in his twenties who was found slumped in a shopping centre toilet on Thursday. He was taken to hospital but died later. Bristol was identified in a recent Home Office-funded study as one of the cities experiencing a new influx of heroin.

The drug is believed to have come from major traffickers based in Liverpool and Manchester, who supply local Bristol dealers. Heroin "wraps," which provide a hit, cost from pounds 7 to pounds 10 in the city.

In what is believed to be an unrelated case, four people have died in Manchester in the past two weeks, apparently after overdosing on a pure form of heroin.

One explanation for the high purity levels is that the drug has gone on sale without dealers having time to mix or "cut" it with other non- toxic substances. The 10 people to have died in Bristol all injected the drug.