HEROIN is thought to have claimed the lives of three people in as many days.

In the early hours of yesterday morning police officers found a 33-year-old woman in a flat in Bridgewater Close, Billingshurst.

She was being treated by paramedics for a suspected heroin overdose but was pronounced dead at 1.30am.

A 21-year-old man, who was in the flat and had also used heroin, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug.

He was treated at the East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, Surrey, before being taken into police custody for interview.

The night before, on Thursday at 8.30pm, police officers were called to a flat in The Causeway, Durrington.

Inside they found a 60-year-old man slumped on a sofa.

Paramedics were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

A 27-year-old woman, who was in the flat at the time, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and remains in custody for interview.

In the third case police were called to a flat in Rowlands Road, West Worthing, at 11.40pm on Wednesday.

After forcing their way into the house found a 28-year-old man dead in the bathroom.

Police say it appears he died following a drug overdose, possibly of heroin.

In all three cases, a post mortem examination of the body will be held. The coroner has been informed.

Police believe suspect heroin was the cause of all three deaths but are not currently linking them. They warned illicit drugs are fraught with danger, with purity and adulteration both key issues.

Detective Inspector Dave Wardley Wilkins, of the Sussex Police priority crime team, said: “Any drugs-related death means a personal and tragic loss of life for that person's loved ones and this should never be forgotten.”

Anyone who has any information on the supply or selling of illegal drugs is urged phone Sussex Police on 101, email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 to pass on details.