Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland hospital deals with 170 drug overdoses in two months - Two dead from heroin in last few days

The Emergency Department at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital dealt with 170 drug overdoses in June and July of this year, it has been revealed.

UTV have reported that the figures showed a 300% increase on last year and that two people have lost their lives in heroin related incidents in the last few days.

It was also revealed that fourteen people have died in Northern Ireland over the past two months due to addiction.

The latest revelations come after an addict warned that buying heroin in Belfast is as easy as getting cigarettes.

SDLP councillor Paul McCusker said that the heroin problem in Belfast has gone "beyond an epidemic", that he believe addicts were being "forgotten about" and warned that many addicts will die if waiting lists are not shortened.

The waiting list for heroin users in Belfast to be put on a substitute drug to wean them off the drug stands at a minimum of 29 to a maximum of 38 weeks.

The programme moves addicts from heroin to methadone in the hope they will eventually stop using heroin.

Consultant Brendan Sinnott told UTV that in 30 years in emergency medicine the problem is the worst he has ever seen.

“Last week, we had eight in one day - eight overdoses,” he said.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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