TWO men have died from drug overdoses in Adelaide in 24 hours, sparking fears a dangerous batch of highly pure heroin is on the streets.
Police said while the deaths were unrelated, they occurred within a 24-hour period this week, which was unusual in South Australia.
Officers have searched a number of properties in relation to the suspect drugs, but are yet to make any arrests.
"We believe that these two deaths have linkages to a batch of heroin on the streets that is causing adverse reactions," Superintendent Derryn Phillips said.
"There's nothing to link the two deaths, other than they are suspected drug overdoses."
Supt Phillips said detectives could not determine how much of the heroin had recently become available or where it came from.
They are also waiting on the results of toxicology testing on the two victims to determine if any other drugs were involved.
Drug and Alcohol Services spokesman Chris Holmwood said it was difficult to determine if more of SA's 5000 or so dependent heroin users would fall victim to the pure batch of the drug.
He said the two deaths could yet be just a statistical cluster, which was unusual but not unheard of.
However, he urged users to take care.
"We would suggest people don't buy the drug or at least don't inject the drug," he said.
"Snorting or smoking it would be safer ways, less toxic ways of administering the drug."
Dr Holmwood said it would be reasonable for addicts to first test what they purchased before taking large amounts.
"By that I mean if you're going to inject the drug use a small quantity, maybe 20 per cent or less, and see what the effect of that is and then make your judgement subsequent to that," he said.
Dr Holmwood said there was nothing to suggest heroin use was growing or the drug was become more freely available in Adelaide.
Purity, availability and price had remained fairly constant since the heroin drought about 10 years ago, he said.
Tim Dornin From: AAP August 05, 2011
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