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Warning after spate of SA heroin deaths

AAP logoAAP 22/08/2016

A health warning has been issued by the South Australian government after a spate of heroin-related deaths in recent weeks.

Substance Abuse Minister Leese Vlahos said there had been 10 recent deaths, eight due to heroin use, while two other cases were linked to the use of fentanyl, an extremely potent synthetic painkiller.

"These tragic deaths are an important reminder that drug use can be fatal," Ms Vlahos said.

Some of those who died were aged between 31 and 56 years old.

On average there are between one and two deaths as a result of heroin overdose each month in South Australia.

Addiction medicine specialist Chris Holmwood said Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia was not aware of an overall increase in the number of people using heroin or other opioids.

But there were significant dangers associated with any illicit drug taking.

International Overdose Awareness Day will be held next Wednesday, August 31.

Those struggling with drug use can contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1300 131 340.

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