Drug-related deaths highlighted at meeting in Dunmurry
A public meeting has been held in Dunmurry to discuss the rise in the number of drug-related deaths across Belfast.
The meeting was organised by a number of families whose children have died from taking prescription drugs in the last few months.
The misuse of prescription drugs is a concern for the authorities.
In the last few months the PSNI has investigated the deaths of five people, all thought to be drug-related.
One of those was a 16-year-old girl.
Gerry McConville from the Falls Community Council said something needs to be done urgently to tackle the issue.
"In the past we've had legal highs, illegal drugs and at the moment the emphasis is on prescription drugs," he said.
"We need to get the message out to young people that they don't need to take these drugs and that there is help available."
Figures from the Public Health Agency show that prescription drug deaths in Northern Ireland are, on average, 10 times more prevalent than cocaine deaths.
Deirdre Lennon's son, Caomhan, died two years ago on Mother's day after taking three Tramadol - he was just 19.
"Caomhan's last words to me were 'mummy I love you'. It took him five to eight hours to die," she said.
"He took a massive heart attack and his organs failed."