ADDICTS are being warned about a 'highly potent' new drug which may be on the streets of Worcestershire.

Police believe they may have seized a small quantity of fentanyl, which is said to be 50 times stronger than heroin, in a recent raid.

The drug, which has been linked to the deaths of American pop singers Prince and Michael Jackson, is often mixed with heroin or cocaine to increase its euphoric effects.

Public Health England recently warned about the combination of fentanyl and heroin and drug services in Worcestershire are on high alert and asking users to be "vigilant".

A 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs in relation to the raid in Yates Hay Road, Malvern, on Monday, May 22. He has since been released under investigation.

Superintendent Kevin Purcell, police commander of South Worcestershire, said: "Fentanyl is a new and particularly dangerous drug, similar to heroin but many times more potent which increases the risk of overdosing.

"We advise anyone from the drug user community who thinks they may have been exposed to this drug or who is experiencing unexpected symptoms to seek urgent medical attention.

"We would like to reassure the community that illegal drug use is a matter that we take very seriously and we are working hard to protect people from harm.

"I would encourage anyone who has information about drug related activities to contact us."

Matthew Burke, assistant service manager at Swanswell's drug recovery centre in Worcester, said: "There have been confirmed reports of fentanyl in Worcestershire.

‘We would ask drug users in Worcestershire to be vigilant.

"We would ask people to be extra cautious and to watch very carefully for signs of overdose in those using around you.

"Public Health England have issued an alert relating to deaths from heroin that has been mixed with fentanyl or carfentanyl.

"These are highly potent synthetic opioids and even small amounts can be very dangerous."

Drug users can contact Swanswell on 0300 303 8200 if they require further information.

A West Mercia Police spokesman said fentanyl has not been responsible for any deaths in Worcestershire.