Concerns that young people are giving vulnerable street drinkers ‘Xanax’ type drugs have been highlighted by Sinn Féin Health spokesperson, Councillor Patricia Logue.
Colr. Logue said there were growing fears in the Bogside area over vulnerable street drinkers being administered Alprazolam, resulting in a zombie like effect on those taking them.
Medical experts, judges and policing teams across Ireland and Britain have previously raised concerns over the alarming rise in usage of such tranquiliser drugs in communities over the past year.
It is believed that in many cases the drugs are being purchased cheaply online, sparking fears over dangerous side effects for those self-medicating and mixing with other substances.
Colr. Logue said: “Serious concerns have been raised with me about issues that are taking place in the vicinity of the underpass at the Lecky Road Flyover.
“This is an area that has been blighted by many forms of anti-community activity over the years. But the latest news that I have received is very worrying indeed.
“I have been informed that young people drinking in the area are giving vulnerable street drinkers a drug known as ‘Xanax’.
“This is having a very negative impact on these already vulnerable people who are on a lot of medication and are alcohol dependent.
“The drug is having a zombie like effect on those who take it and the young people themselves are endangering their own health and wellbeing.”
Colr. Logue appealed for those involved in this practise to stop and “think about they are doing to other human beings.”
“The main priority in any approach to tackling drugs must focus on early intervention and prevention. The communities and families at risk from drugs are easily identifiable and this is where resources must be targeted,” she said.
“I would appeal to anyone not to take illegal drugs or anything they are unsure about. And if anyone has taken anything, or becomes concerned about a friend who has taken something, they should seek medical help immediately.
“Anyone with any information on the sale or supply of prescription drugs, illegal drugs in our communities should contact the PSNI.”