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Fentanyl: Greater than 50 NI deaths in 4 years

Fentanyl: Greater than 50 NI deaths in 4 years

2020-02-14 06:17:04

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Drew Angerer/Getty Photographs

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Fentanyl is taken into account to be 50 occasions stronger than heroin.

There have been greater than 50 deaths in Northern Eire linked to the drug fentanyl between 2014 and 2018.

And authorities figures present there have been an extra 5 such deaths between January and March of 2019.

A Belfast metropolis councillor has stated well being professionals worry deaths linked to the drug, which is 50 occasions stronger that heroin, will hold rising.

The SDLP’s Paul McCusker, who works with drug customers, stated the figures had been very regarding.

He stated: “I’ve personally handled various individuals who have used fentanyl and talking to well being professionals they advise that we’ve not seen the total results of this potent drug and worry that deaths will proceed to extend.

“Heroin and fentanyl have gotten simpler to acquire and the availability of most of these medication is on the rise, the fear is that when the person buys the medication they’re unaware of what’s contained in them, placing them at extra threat.

“You should buy [fentanyl] patches ranging from £10.”

What’s fentanyl?

Fentanyl is an especially robust painkiller, prescribed for extreme continual ache, or breakthrough ache which doesn’t reply to common painkillers.

It’s an opioid painkiller which suggests it really works by mimicking the physique’s pure painkillers, known as endorphins, which block ache messages to the mind.

The chance of hurt is larger if the mistaken dose or power is used.

Typical signs of a fentanyl overdose embrace sluggish and tough respiration, nausea and vomiting, dizziness and elevated blood stress.

Figures obtained by BBC Information NI present that between 2014 to 2018 there have been 51 deaths in NI the place the demise certificates talked about fentanyl, in comparison with 15 from 2010 to 2013.

The determine rose from one in 2013 to 15 in 2014.

Mr McCusker stated fentanyl is extremely addictive, whereas there may be additionally a scarcity of early intervention programmes in NI.

“The rise in fentanyl deaths could also be because of illegally or illicitly made fentanyl which is being blended with harmful chemical compounds placing the person at critical threat,” he stated.

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Belfast SDLP councillor Paul McCusker

“Fentanyl abuse is extraordinarily harmful, significantly when it’s blended with heroin, because it slows down your respiration and reduces your consciousness ranges which places the individual at nice threat of their respiration stopping.

“This drug ought to all the time be managed in a medical surroundings.”

In January of this yr, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Medication (ACMD) stated {that a} rise within the variety of fentanyl deaths within the UK was being pushed by the drug being added to heroin.

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Darwin Brandis/Getty Photographs

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The Public Well being Company says {that a} tiny quantity of fentanyl might be lethal to a human

It stated the federal government ought to introduce controls to sort out the “rising menace” the painkiller poses.

Michael Owen, the Public Well being Company’s regional lead for medication and alcohol, stated even a tiny quantity of fentanyl might be lethal.

“Anybody utilizing fentanyl is placing themselves at a really excessive threat of overdose and demise, so the PHA would discourage use of fentanyl in any kind,” he stated.

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Getty Photographs

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Fentanyl patches are being bought for as little as £10

“We see many various kinds of medication being utilized in Northern Eire and whereas it is probably not widespread, fentanyl is extraordinarily potent, and might be blended in with one other substance, for instance heroin or cocaine, and it might even be bought underneath the pretence it’s one other substance.

“Mixing medication, which incorporates alcohol and prescription medicine, is the most typical reason for overdose and drug-related demise and must be prevented.

“It might enhance the toxicity of already probably dangerous substances and will increase the danger of demise.”

Division of Finance figures present that the drug linked to most deaths in Northern Eire between 2014 and 2018 was Diazepam.

The benzodiazepine, first marketed as valium, was linked to 249 deaths in Northern Eire in 4 years.

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