This follows several people becoming ill after taking what they thought was class B drug ketamine, but was, in fact, a substance known as 2-FDCK.
This is the first time the substance has been found in the UK and has caused concern among drug safety advocates because it is 1.5 times as strong as ketamine and lasts for around three times longer.
The discovery was made after samples were brought to a mobile drug testing centre in Durham run by The Loop - a drug testing group. There are also fears that the drug could currently be being sold as ketamine in Manchester.
Fiona Measham, a criminology professor who is also the director of drug safety testing for The Loop - told the Mirror: "It was first identified in Europe in 2016. It is the first time that this drug has been identified in the UK."
The drug, which is also known as fluorodeschloroketamine, is similar in some ways to the now-banned 'legal highs' and is a chemical derivative known as a 'new psychoactive substance'.
One report from a 2-FDCK user on drug use/harm reduction site Erowid said: "My room looked like a cartoon. I thought I was dead and I was afraid about this, but then I understood this new way of existing wasn't terrible."
Another concern is that people are unaware that what they are taking is not what they think they have bought. This new substance is thought to be being marketed as ketamine.
The Loop said that they discovered: "2-FDCK (2-fluorodeschloroketamine) sold as ketamine.
"Tested by The Loop in Durham, UK. About 1.5x more potent than ketamine with 2-3x longer duration."
As well as synthetic ketamine, the UK is currently experiencing more incidents involving fentanyl, a synthetic form of heroin.
Fentanyl is much stronger than heroin and has been responsible for many thousands of deaths in the USA.
It is 50 times stronger than morphine and has reportedly killed five people in the UK after they came into contact with skin patches containing the drug. This includes a 15-month-old baby who died in 2015 after getting a patch stuck to her.
This is despite the fact that it is available on prescription in the UK.
The UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MRHA) has issued warnings about the dangers of fentanyl as a result of these cases.
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