Don’t dice with death

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LEIGH addicts have been warned not to dice with death as fears grow that a drug of a lethal purity is available on local streets.

Police put out an urgent warning this week after receiving information that a neat form of the heroin substitute methadone has been available, particularly in the Atherton area.

Pharmacists today confirmed that ingestion of the pure powder form of the heroin substitute methadone could bring about breathing difficulties and even death.

The warning came after police said they had been made aware that there could be a quantity of pharmaceutical grade methadone hydrochloride in circulation in the Atherton area.

So far there have been no reported deaths but officers are urging anyone who comes across it or is offered any of the drug to call police.

Sgt John Connor, of the Atherton Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Prescription methadone usually comes in a liquid but the drugs we are looking for are in powder form.

“We have spoken to a pharmacist and they have told us that due to its purity, it would be lethal to those who use it.

“No one but a trained pharmacist should be handling this drug and I strongly urge drug users offered any substance not prescribed to them to either dispose of it or hand it into the police.

“If anyone has any information regarding this substance please call us immediately.”

Christine Wadsworth, a pharmacist at a local branch of Boots, added: “Very rarely is methadone available in powder form. It used to come to pharmacies like that ready to make up into a liquid.

“Methadone is a replacement for heroin but it can be just as dangerous. And if taken in a very pure concentration, particularly by someone unaccustomed to such strengths there could be serious consequences. Symptoms include respiratory difficulties, pinpoint pupils and coma.

“I have to wonder where this powder has come from.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.