24/06/2019

SDLP Demand Action On Heroin Abuse

An SDLP MLA has called for urgent action on the problem of heroin addiction and abuse in the Belfast and Northern Health Trust areas.

East L'Derry MLA John Dallat's comments come after he received information regarding the amount of people admitted to hospital with heroin poisoning. He said the 50% increase in admissions in the last year represents a growing issue that is likely to engulf many more areas as the drug "becomes more and more available".

The total of admissions in Belfast are concentrated to The Royal Victoria and Mater hospitals, while in the Northern Trust the pressure falls on Antrim Area Hospital.

Mr Dallat said: "The increase in heroin addiction cases is most worrying and represents a train wreck coming down the tracks with no return for many of those diagnosed with this deadly addiction.
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"These are not my words but the words of senior doctors that I have spoken to in one of the Belfast hospitals and it won't be confined to Belfast, far from it.

"Based on my own inquiries I understand this deadly business is being conducted by ruthless people with no regard for anyone and motivated only by creating addiction among people who may already be on drugs.

"If this pattern is to continue there is every reason to believe all health trusts will experience an increase in admissions for heroin sufferers while the situation in the Belfast area will, undoubtedly, become much more serious as the availability of this poisonous substance reaches more and more vulnerable people.

"Young people, in particular need to be aware that for many people taking heroin there is no way back but suffering and death."



(JG/CM)

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