An article setting out the risks of a lethal synthetic drug that has already lead to thousands of deaths in America, and now in the UK.
These are two lethal man-made opioids – fentanyl, a painkiller 100 times more potent than morphine; and carfentanyl, an elephant tranquilliser 10,000 times stronger than street heroin. Only a few grains of carfentanyl – 0.00002g – can be fatal.
The arrival of these highly toxic substances is especially alarming for Britain since it has the highest proportion of heroin users in Europe and already accounts for almost one third of the entire continent’s overdose deaths. The UK is also the biggest host of fentanyl sales on the secret ‘darknet’ in Europe, with 1,000 trades made in the last few months alone, according to the Oxford Internet Institute.