Police bosses attending a coffee morning in support of drugs and alcohol charity Breakthru have warned young people illegal drugs could have anything in them.
Speaking to the Times following a number of deaths in the area, Chief Inspector Roy Robinson and Inspector Keith Jamieson said they wouldn’t single Mid Ulster out in relation to drugs problems.
The officers warned young people thinking of taking controlled substances for the experience, that they can never be sure what they are putting into their bodies and the dangers that poses.
Drug dealers, they said, “don’t tell you the contents” and their illegal substances could be cut with anything - even “rat poison”.
As well as the health risks posed by drug use, the PSNI officers said those who buy them are also funding criminal enterprises.
“Every pound that is provided to a drug dealer, is a pound that is going towards criminals,” said Chief Inspector Robinson.
Breakthru, which operates across Mid Ulster and Fermanagh advises people of all ages on the dangers of drugs.
They believe that education on the effects of drugs and how they can impact on lives is an important first step as it gives people the power to make positive decisions, and to help others when they don’t know what to do.
“Some people think using drugs can be fun, but it can bring more than its fair share of problems,” a spokesperson said. “Drugs can cause problems with your parents, your friends and your health.
“You risk getting addicted and even sudden death, not to mention the stupid things you might do when you are under the influence, including getting in trouble with the law. The best way to avoid the potential problems that you could get yourself into using both legal and illegal drugs is not take any at all!
“The A-Z section of our website tells you about different types of drugs, the risks associated and what’s known about their short and long-term effects,” they added. “You can find out about drugs and the law and where to get help if you need it.”
Mid Ulster District Councillor Denise Mullen has commended the work of Breakthru within the community.
“Breakthru offer a brilliant service,” she said.
“Not only do they try to engage with young people across Mid Ulster, Fermanagh and Tyrone - but they also offer a number of in-house services to help those who have been affected by addiction in any form.”