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Shock at lack of information on mephedone on DHSS and Public Health Agency websites - O'Neill

25 March, 2010 - by Michelle O'Neill


Sinn Fein MLA and vice chair of the health committee in the Assembly Michelle O’Neill has spoken of her surprise that both the Department of Health’s website and that of the Public Health Agency’s have no information on them regarding mephedrone. This is in comparison to a Google search revealing that the first ten websites are suppliers of this lethal drug.


Ms O’Neill raised this at today’s Health Committee meeting.


Speaking after the committee meeting Ms O’Neill said:


“The current debate surrounding the death of young people through the use of mephadone is startling but also very revealing.


“After doing a search for mephedrone on Google the first ten sites are all concerning the sale and availability of the substance. There are however even more sites than this.


“The extreme ease of young people being able to access this is worrying however what is more worrying is that following this a search of both the Department of Health and the Public Health agencies, two agencies who are tasked as the main drivers for information into health matters both returned no results for mephadrone.


“This is wholly unacceptable. One would think that following the tragic deaths of young people at the hands of this substance there would be advice on the dangers and signs of use of mephedrone on these websites.


“We need to see a much more hands on and forthright approach from these two agencies against the usage and availability of so called legal highs.


“However there is always a danger that, if and when mephadrone is illegalised and removed form supply another substance will fill this gap.


“What we need is a regulatory body that can keep pace with the market for substances that are harmful, one that is both proactive in identifying and stopping those substances that could fill mephadrones place and indeed reactive to examine and move against existing substances that are currently available.”

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