ASCERT CEO Gary McMichael spoke to BBC News Northern Ireland following the coroner’s findings that super strength street drugs Nitazenes have now been implicated in the deaths of six people under the age of 30 in Northern Ireland.
The Public Health Agency warned in July that these new synthetic opioids may be in Belfast.
Gary told the BBC “People are taking them not realising just how significantly stronger they are than other drugs and, in many cases, they don’t actually know what they’re taking or what it’s going to do to them because they’re wrapped into pills or into heroin or other powders.”
Urging all agencies need to move quickly to prevent further tragedies, Gary continued “We know what’s coming down the line at us so this is the time to get a strategy in place,” .
“People who are vulnerable are becoming even more vulnerable because of funding cuts, because of the restrictions in budgets so the supports, the safety nets, are under stress.
“We’re seeing a pressure on resources and on top of that we also have a culture in NI of people using drugs in combination with others which increases the risk.”
Read the full article here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-67043030