ESSEX Police have identified a sixth suspected drug-related death in south Essex.
A woman in her 30s was found dead in Southend on Sunday morning.
Two women and three men died on Monday and Tuesday and we believe all six deaths may be linked to the sale of Class A drugs.
Tests are ongoing to identify exactly what substance or substances are involved.
Chief Superintendent Kevin Baldwin said: “We are concerned by these deaths and have dedicated officers working around the clock to investigate the circumstances.
“At this stage we believe these incidents are contained to the south of the county but part of our enquiries is to see whether other parts of Essex are affected.
“We believe the deaths are linked to the taking of Class A drugs and are carrying out tests to establish exactly what the substance or substances involved are.
“Until we have the results of those tests we’re not going to speculate about what’s involved or how it was taken.
“Our message is clear though – if you are considering taking Class A drugs, please don’t.”
If you have any information about these deaths or the sale of Class A drugs please call us on 101 or Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111.
There will be members of the public who have taken Class A drugs who are now concerned.
Public Health England has issued the following advice:
“We are urging drug users to be extra careful about what they are taking. We strongly advise them not to use alone and to test a small amount first.
“They need to look out for each other and be alert to any signs of an overdose, such as lack of consciousness, shallow or no breathing, ‘snoring’, and blueing of the lips and fingertips.
“They should immediately call for an ambulance and use any available naloxone if someone overdoses on opioids. We strongly advise all dependent drug users to get support from local drug services.
NHS England has issued this advice:
“Anyone who is concerned about a medical problem and isn’t sure what to do, can get help online or over the phone using NHS 111.
“Visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111 from your phone for advice. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“If it is a medical emergency – if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk – call 999.”
There are a number of services in the Southend area which provide support.