APCC recently (15 December 2023) responded to deaths being linked to street drugs stronger than heroin.
Following data from the National Crime Agency showing that 54 deaths have been linked to synthetic opioids since June 2023, APCC Addictions & Substance Misuse Leads, Dorset PCC David Sidwick and Durham PCC Joy Allen, recently said:
“We are deeply saddened by the reported deaths caused by Synthetic Opioids in the UK in the last six months. We take the dangers and risks posed by these drugs, which can be up to 1,000 times stronger than heroin, very seriously. Police and Crime Commissioners are well sighted on this emerging threat, and we have been actively taking action, together with partners, to address it. For example, in our role as the APCC portfolio leads for Addictions and Substance Misuse, we have been strongly advocating the expansion of the use of Naloxone, a medication that reverses the effects of opioids. We now have 20 forces using Naloxone, and we are working closely with the NPCC and OHID to host webinars to help better inform partners on its use and administration. As a result of strong partnership-working in the last year, across England and Scotland, 350 lives have been saved to date thanks to Naloxone and we will continue promoting and encouraging its use to prevent further deaths.
“We have recently welcomed the government's recent banning of 15 new synthetic opioids as Class A drugs, and we will continue to lead on this issue to raise awareness and ensure that it remains a priority for central government, in addition to supporting partners in addressing Synthetic Opioids locally. The APCC have recently hosted a webinar, in collaboration with OHID, to strengthen PCCs' understanding of the National Drugs and Treatment Monitoring System; using data and intelligence is key for keeping our local communities safe from both Synthetic opioids and illicit drugs more widely, and we are committed to equip all Police Force Areas with the right tools and knowledge to combat and put an end to this emerging issue.”