Contaminated drugs may have caused several deaths in the county as Public Health Oxfordshire send out an alert for contaminated heroin.

Two men were found dead outside Abingdon BP garage in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Emergency services were called to Vineyard in Abingdon after reports that two people had suffered a medical emergency.

Police have revealed that the men, who were both in their forties, were pronounced dead at the scene.

This incident comes after the Public Health Oxfordshire Drug and Alcohol Team sent out an alert yesterday warning drug users of a contaminated batch of heroin.

Turning Point is an all-purpose drug and alcohol treatment service in Oxfordshire and is commissioned by Oxfordshire County Council.

Read also: Oxfordshire drug users warned of contaminated heroin and increase in overdoses

Andy Symons from Turning Point said: “We have been aware of a number of fatalities which were potentially drug related and most of it we think is linked to a contaminated batch of heroin.”

Mr Symons explained that there has been a problem over the past three months with contaminated heroin. It is believed that the heroin has been cut with fentanyl or other kinds of opiate drugs making it stronger.

He added: “Some people are not sure how much they are using in terms of the purity of the heroin and that is potentially why the deaths are suspected to be drug related.”

Turning Point gives its service users and professionals working with service users an antidote called naloxone. Ambulance drivers can inject it to reverse the effects of opiates and if it is administered it can be lifesaving.

Mr Symons explained that Turning Point is aware of a potential drug related death in Oxford in addition to the two deaths in Abingdon on Tuesday.

Read also: Two men in their forties found dead in Abingdon

He said: “It is very unusual, in my seven years in Oxfordshire we have never known this number of deaths in a single day. Generally, we have a very low number of drug related deaths, so to have two potentially three in one day is extremely high.”

However, Mr Symons said that it is very difficult to know the exact cause of death until toxicology reports are through.

Since the death of two men in Abingdon on Tuesday, Turning Point has been working in homeless supported housing. The service has also been working with the police to ensure that people are aware of the contaminated batch of heroin to try and minimise the risk.

If you would like drug and alcohol support or if you are concerned about yourself or a family member call Turning Point on 01865 261690.

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