East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has expressed his concern at the rise in the number of problem users of Pregabalin (Lyrica) in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland has the highest prescription rate for Pregabalin in the UK. Furthermore, there is a growing issue of the illicit sale of the drug from unregulated sources. The issue has become so serious that the drug, when taken without prescription, is now treated as a Class C illegal drug.
Mr Dickson commented: “Tragically, there has been a sharp rise in the number of deaths linked with Pregabalin, rising from eight in 2016, to 33 in 2017, and often these are vulnerable individuals.
“I welcome the information that local social justice charity Extern have distributed on the issue, as I strongly believe that education is half the battle when it comes to the misuse of drugs. Taking a drug that has not been prescribed to you can have serious effects, and sadly even have fatal consequences.
“If you, or someone you know is concerned about the use of the drugs, I strongly recommend visiting Extern’s website to access further information on the matter.”
Click here to access Extern's Guidance on Pregabalin
In the Northern Trust area help can also be sought from Extern by contacting: 028 2526 4012