By Phil Black, CNN • Updated 16th July 2016
Fentanyl is a powerful opioid. It is cheap and easily produced by mills using plentiful prescription drugs, but also, experts say, because production could be easier to move out of the United States.
In the UK, where the great bulk of fentanyl deaths occur, it was already a weapon of choice for smugglers. In 2012, the drug was even found on the bodies of young police officers in one UK town, thanks to a pilot scheme by Midlands Police.
There’s an issue here with national taboos, though, something that Penny Niven doesn’t like to discuss in public. She wants to be seen as open and not to undermine the work of those like Dr. Anthony, whose private surgery she works at.
Throughout the video we hear Penny tell Anthony and his colleagues that she’s not able to be as negative as they may require about the situation.
Her own children live abroad. She also knows that helping people who are carrying drugs is not the position many have chosen when they enter the job market in the UK. There was also an issue of her own, that she is far from shocked by, after having read a report of a victim killed by the drug.
“I think we all need to remember that this is poison,” she tells us. “We need to remember that.”