Belfast Telegraph

Pills linked to deaths in Scotland 'on sale in Northern Ireland'

By Cate McCurry

Dangerous fake diazepam tablets linked to deaths in Scotland may be on sale on our streets, it has emerged.

It comes after police in Scotland reported large quantities of fake diazepam tablets were being produced illicitly there.

Green Party councillor John Barry said users were risking their lives.

"Police in Scotland believe the pills have been associated with at least one sudden death," the Ards and North Down councillor said.

"Most of the tablets are being sold in Scotland. However, Ards and North Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership has reported there is recent evidence to suggest these may now be available in Northern Ireland.

"People tempted to buy these tablets could be under the impression that they are the genuine article, but there is no knowing what you could be taking. You could be playing Russian roulette with your life and long-term health."

PSNI Detective Inspector Pete Mullan said users simply cannot be sure what they are taking.

"Medicines obtained through unregulated internet sites may not have been prescribed by a healthcare practitioner, may not have been subject to the normal controls on manufacture and may not be of a suitable quality or be of the nature described.

"Police would urge the public not to be tempted by reduced prices or fooled by attractive websites offering medicines without prescription. Taking short cuts and using these medicines could expose you to a dangerous counterfeit or substandard medicine."

It comes as Billy Burns, who started the One Pill Will Kill campaign after the death of his son Jamie in Belfast, attended the launch of an anti-drugs initiative in Ballymoney.

Unite coordinator Albert Hewitt said members of the union had produced leaflets and posters highlighting the threat posed by drugs and were taking the message around north Antrim.

He said: "We want to get the message out to young people that all it takes is one pill to kill. You can't be sure that it won't be the first one you ever take - as it was in the case of Jamie Burns."

Belfast Telegraph

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