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Response to UK deaths linked to Xanax misuse

06 February 2019


Photo credit Belfast Live 

A total of 43 out of 113 recent Northern Ireland drug deaths have been linked to Xanax and unfortunately this is only the tip of the iceberg. Those who may have a preference for a particular drug, for example Xanax, will substitute their drug of choice if it is unavailable for whatever is available at the time – in particular Pregablin and Diazepam. The danger surrounding these substances is further escalated as they are often taken in combination with each other as well as with alcohol and/or heroin. This pattern of chaotic polydrug use is further complicated by the unknown potency of the street bought or ‘fake’ versions that are widely available.

More needs to be done to address the root causes of drug dependency, such as poor mental health, which is often worsened by homelessness. Currently the emphasis is mainly on crisis management rather than early intervention. – Eoin Ryan, Head of Harm Reduction Services at Simon Community NI 

Eoin Ryan – Head of Harm Reduction Services, Simon Community NI

To read more about the hundreds of UK deaths linked to the misuse of Xanax, click the following links to the Belfast Live and BBC news stories.