Deaths of Blackburn 'drug users' prompt medicine warning

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DiazepamImage source, SPL
Image caption,
Users are turning to prescription medicines because street drugs are in short supply, said police.

A shortage of illegal street drugs has led to the deaths of two men thought to have taken medicines that had not been prescribed to them, police believe.

The men, aged 47 and 50, were from Blackburn and died earlier in April, Lancashire Police confirmed.

Users in the town have been advised not to take pregabalin and diazepam tablets believed to be in circulation.

Sgt Steve Dundon said the lockdown was "affecting the usual supply channels for illegal street drugs".

People are "using other drugs to experiment, in the absence of their usual drug of choice," he added.

"Users may find that the drugs they are taking are not what they expect it to be.

"We would strongly discourage anyone from taking any prescription drugs that are not prescribed to them as the consequences can be fatal."

Both diazepam and pregabalin are used by doctors to treat anxiety and epilepsy or muscle spasms and seizures and are only available via prescription.

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