Extra strong batch of heroin hits Northern Ireland streets
Drug users "could be playing Russian roulette with their lives" amid reports that an "extra strength batch of heroin" may be circulating in the Lisburn and Belfast areas, according to a political activist.
Green Party member Malachai O'Hara said that a report from the Drug and Alcohol Monitoring and Information System (DAMIS) suggested a potentially "strong batch" of heroin, which "may be grey in colour", could be circulating in the Lisburn and Belfast areas.
It followed a weekend warning issued on social media by south Belfast DUP MP Emma Little-Pengelly, who stated: "There is a seriously dangerous batch of heroin doing the rounds in the Lisburn and Belfast areas - warnings have been issued, including through needle exchanges."
In a statement released by the Green Party, Mr O'Hara urged the public not to risk their lives by experimenting with drugs.
"I would warn people to be careful before taking any substance if they are unsure of what it contains," he stated.
"Our community has lost too many people to drugs.
"If anyone experiences any unusual symptoms after taking drugs, they should not hesitate to seek medical attention.
"It could mean the difference between life and death."
According to Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), there were 126 drug-related deaths in Northern Ireland in 2016. No one at the Public Health Agency or the PSNI was available for comment at the time of going to press.