Fears That A "Drop Dead" Drug Is Heading To Australia
There are fears that a new Australian drug crisis could be on the way after drug dealers have started mixing heroin with a deadly synthetic opioid.
Nicknamed the "Drop Dead" drug, the opioid fentanyl has been associated with up to 10 heroin-related deaths since 2015 and has claimed thousands of lives in the US.
The drug mixture is believed to have been the cause of late musician Prince's death and was also discovered in the home of Michael Jackson after his death.
"What we're finding now is that fentanyl is being added and cut into doses of heroin to give it an extra kick," said medical expert Dr Ric Gordon.
"Fentanyl is actually a drug that is a depressant so it actually slows everything donw, it numbs pain and gives you a high."
Fentanyl is known as the "Drop Dead" drug and is considered to be so dangerous because the difference between a therapeutic or medical dose and a fatal dose is "a very fine line", claims addiction expert Professor Jon Currie.
"It's an opiate as well so when added to heroin [it] makes the heroin very, very powerful," he said.
"But people will OD because they have no experience of using the two together."
The Australian Border Force have issued a warning about the rise in the drug that is said to be 100 times stronger than morphine, after they detected fentanyl being smuggled into Australia 30 times in the past 18 months.