Drug addicts have been warned to take extra precautions over fears a deadly batch of heroin is circulating in Dundee.
It is believed at least two people have died as a result of overdoses in the city over the past 48 hours.
Dave Barrie, service manager of Dundee drugs charity Addaction, said: “We’ve had some reports yesterday and this morning that there might be a batch of more dangerous heroin but we are not sure what it is.
“We had reports coming in yesterday that there have been a couple of suspected fatal overdoses in Dundee.
“It could be some sort of stronger heroin or another substance but it is really difficult to pinpoint what it is until toxicology reports come back.
“It’s very early but there are rumblings something is out there.”
Charity Recovery Dundee posted an image of Twitter warning that a substance called Xanax is being sold as heroin in Dundee.
It claimed three people had died as a result of using the drug, which is allegedly being sold in the Borders and Lothian.
3 Deaths in Dundee in less than 24 hours. Please share we need make people aware of this ASAP #Nomoredeaths @albertstreethub @AddactionDundee @jennifermjones @LynnesnpR @JayneJeffrey2 @NHSTayside pic.twitter.com/v5Yu5IQ0lr
— RecoveryDundee (@RecoveryDundee) January 18, 2018
Xanax is the trade name of a benzodiazapine called Alprazolam, which can depress the nervous system if the user overdoses.
Overdose is more likely if it is mixed with another drug or alcohol.
Heroin of greater purity than normal can also lead to a rise in overdoses as use’s may not be able to cope with the increased strength of the drug.
Mr Barrie advised drug users not to use any substance they have doubts about but said those who insisted on using should exercise “extreme caution”.
He said: “If you’re not sure about any substance you are about to use then our advice is don’t. But if you have to use then take less than you normally would.”
Mr Barrie added: “Make sure there is somebody else by your side to call for an ambulance if required.
“Make sure you have (anti-overdose drug) Naloxone and that people around you have Naloxone and are trained to use.”
In 2010, Dundee anthrax-contaminated heroin was sold in the city and across Scotland.
It claimed 13 lives across Scotland, including two in Dundee and one in Fife.
Figures released in August revealed the average number of people dying each year in Dundee because of drugs has more than tripled in a decade.
Between 2012 and 2016 there were an average of 34 drug-related fatalities in Dundee each year.
This is up from an average of 11 per year between 2002 and 2006.