Belfast Telegraph

Why are there no answers to drug deaths tragedy?

By Lindy McDowell

Do we even know how many young people over this one cruel summer have died from drugs in Northern Ireland?

Do we know whether, or how many of these deaths may be connected to a single batch of drugs?

Do we know if there is more of the same stuff out there?

What exactly it is? Who's behind it?

So many young lives have been lost over the last couple of months here but it's almost as if we've become inured to the rising toll.

If these were casualties of violence or road accidents surely we could have expected a more robust response from the authorities.

At the very least some sort of major campaign to inform and educate young people about the dangers.

As it is more money and attention is devoted to a campaign to stop them spitting gum on the street than on highlighting substances that could kill them.

What have toxicology reports revealed?

Have these all been completed? Or this there some sort of hold up in the system?

The truly awful death rate from drugs seems to be swept under the carpet of public debate.

Although granted, of course, we have much more important things to argue about here.

Like flags and parades and the Maze and that obliterated bit of graffiti about John Peel on the flyover at Bridgend.

PSNI officers on the street deserve full credit for their efforts in curtailing the wider drugs trade. They have made major seizures in recent months. (Although it makes you wonder if that's what they're scooping just how much more is now out there.) But every one of those precious young lives lost in recent weeks is a tragedy that demands answers. Every single one of them. Never mind a dozen.

Is it now a dozen deaths from drugs in Northern Ireland this summer?

Do we even know?

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