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Fears over growing use of diazepam and the purchase of drugs online

3 September, 2008


Sinn Féin Derry Councillor Billy Page commenting on the latest findings from a survey by the charity DrugScope and fears from local pharmacists of a rise in the number people purchasing drugs and medicines over the internet.

Councillor Page said:

"The latest research from the charity DrugScope has identified evidence of the increasing use of diazepam as a heroin substitute by drug users. It is also frightening that they have uncovered evidence in the past year of some young people combining a lethal mix of diazepam with of alcohol, cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy.

"If we are to tackle this scourge in our communities then a strategy needs to be devised that encompass all aspects of the drugs trade from supply to finding ways of helping people with addictions get their lives back together again.

"This research comes on the same day that local pharmacists have warned about the rise in the number of people buying unregulated drugs and medicines over the interment.

"Earlier this year I raised concerns about the amount of prescription drugs that are now being bought online; and being bought without the safeguards of traditional procedures for prescribing drugs.

"The amount of prescription drugs that are being bought freely throughout the north of Ireland without these safeguards is very worrying. Anyone tempted to purchase these medicines should not buy them from illegal sources, it is much too dangerous.

"People need to ask themselves if the potential financial savings are worth the risk to their health. They may are also taking a chance that the medication they receive may not work and could in fact be life-threatening." ENDS

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