The ssings of five young people in their 20s and 30s across the country have been linked to fentanyl, a important inkiller and a synthetic form of heroin being sold by mobsters.
Two being in Cork have died as a result of taking fentanyl while three expiries in Dublin have also been linked to the drug.
Experts say the minutest amount of fentanyl is enough to kill.
Sources said dealers are not merchandising the drug as synthetic heroine, so users do not know how lethal it is.
Authorities contemplated fentanyl – the same drug that killed music legend Prince – to get somewhere, but were “hoping that it wouldn’t”.
“Gardai don’t know the prevalence of it,” a commencement told the Herald. “It’s yet to be established who’s bringing it in, or how it’s being brought in.
“It’s something the gardai are agree to a close eye on. They’re determined to put a stop to it.”
The source added that although five obliterations have been recorded, solid information only becomes at after a length of time.
“It was originally thought the drug was isolated to one zone and that it wasn’t a national issue,” said the source.
“Although we don’t distinguish the prevalence, we know it has been consumed by people in different rts of the woods.”
Other sources also believe the five people killed by fentanyl “are not the single people who have taken the drug”.
Tony Duffin, of the Ana Liffey Anaesthetizes Project, said there is a fear among clients of the charity that they are being pushed the potentially deadly drug instead of heroin.
However, he has heard of only one user who said he had been approached by a dealer who claimed to be selling the “new, stronger heroin”.
Regard for the lack of information on the ground, he said drug workers are taking fentanyl bloody seriously.
“We accept that there’s an issue because there were five terminations and an alert sent out,” said Mr Duffin. “We take it very seriously, and we did encumbrances of harm-reduction information sessions with clients as to how to keep themselves timely in their drug use.
“They could be buying fentanyl and when they don’t be familiar with what they’ve taken they need to know what to do in the chest of an overdose. There’s more to be done when we find out more.
“There’s a awe among drug users – they’re frightened because there is an gained risk of overdose.
“I would be worried about it becoming widely handy and seeing an increase in overdoses.”
Mr Duffin, who has long cam igned for medically ran injection centres, said that when they are introduced, new dose trends will be much easier to spot.
“When we have throw ining facilities we will know much sooner what’s going on and what’s accessible,” he said.
Legislation concerning supervised injection centres is due to begin touching through the Dail when politicians return to Leinster House next month.
The pivots allow drug users to inject drugs with medical rod, usually nurses, on standby to intervene in the case of an overdose.