A WARNING has been issued after a batch of heroin cut with a deadly painkiller has arrived in the Borders.

A number of drug addicts were admitted to Borders General Hospital over the weekend suffering from symptoms of taking Fentanyl.

Health chiefs believe the potentially lethal painkiller - which is 50 times more potent that heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine - has been mixed with a batch of the class A drug.

Fentanyl is used in skin patch or nasal spray form for the terminally ill.

And it has led to a number of deaths across the UK in recent months after being used by addicts with illegal drugs.

Chris Faldon, nurse consultant in health protection at NHS Borders told us: "Those in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids.

"They should watch carefully for the signs of an overdose."

Fenantyl is so lethal that it can be fatal even to touch.

And investigating officers require protective clothing to handle the substance.

Mr Faldon added: "Symptoms include trouble breathing or shallow breathing, tiredness, extreme sleepiness or sedation, inability to think, walk, or talk normally, and feeling faint, dizzy, or confused.

"Be prepared to call 999 immediately for an ambulance if someone overdoses and administer Naloxone - the drug used to reverse the effects of heroin overdoses - if available and competent to do so".