Northern Ireland

Diazepam tablets stolen from pharmaceutical firm

AAH pharmaceuticals Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption The firm was broken in to during the early hours of Monday morning

A large quantity of Diazepam tablets have been stolen from a pharmaceutical firm on the Prince Regent Road in east Belfast.

AAH Pharmaceuticals was broken in to during the early hours of Monday morning.

A small number of tablets, believed to be linked to the burglary, were later found in nearby Orby Close.

Police have advised the public to only use medicine from healthcare professionals.

The Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) said "there is always the potential for drugs such as benzodiazepines to be misused or abused".

Det Sgt Michael Hawthorne said: "I would also urge the public to be vigilant and to ensure that they do not put their health at risk by purchasing medication from an illicit source.

"People should only take medicines in consultation with their healthcare professionals who have access to patient health records, who are qualified to assess their medical needs and can take into account the risks and benefits associated with every medicine."

He added: "I would also ask the public if they are offered any medicines from an unregulated source to report it to the police on the non-emergency number 101."

Kathryn Turner, Pharmacy Lead at the HSCB said:

"Some patients may obtain these drugs illicitly and take them for effects such as amnesia or to lose inhibitions. They often take them with other drugs including alcohol, and at very high doses. This is very dangerous and can cause loss of consciousness, breathing to stop and can even lead to death.

"We are also aware of the various ways that prescription drugs are being diverted from the legally prescribed and supplied routes and are working closely with regulators and the police to take action where there is evidence of diversion.

"We are advising that such medicines are only taken as prescribed by a medical practitioner and when sourced from the legitimate supply chain. Any suspicious activity in respect of the supply of such medicines should be reported to the police."

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