Web sales ‘fuel highlight drug addiction’

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Deaths related to a ordinarily prescribed category of drug, used to provide stress and insomnia, reached record levels in England and Wales final year.

There were 372 fatalities involving benzodiazepines, adult 8% on a prior year, and a top spin given annals began in 1993, according to a Office for National Statistics.

There were some-more than 10 million prescriptions for benzodiazepines dispensed in England in 2014, though there are flourishing concerns about a bootleg supply of a drugs.

And investigate for a BBC’s 5 live Investigates programme found websites plainly gift a operation of branded pills but a remedy or slip from a competent doctor.

The Home Office pronounced a Advisory Council on a Misuse of Drugs has been consecrated to demeanour into a issues surrounding a unlawful supply of a medicines.

And in a statement, a Home Office sum that there had been a “long-term downward trend in drug use over a final decade”.

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Jason Houghton bought tablets from online retailers

Keith Houghton’s son Jason, 24, died in 2014 after he started holding benzodiazepines to assistance him nap while operative strange change patterns as a paramedic.

“He told us that he’d started operative nights, that endangered 4 night shifts in a quarrel and afterwards 4 days,” says Keith.

“He was carrying problem removing behind to sleep, he was that connected up.”

Jason was means to source a drug himself online and fast became addicted.

“It was transparent from a get-go that he was shopping them from online retailers that were formed abroad,” says Keith.

“There were some in Romania. There was one in Germany, another in Pakistan and he was fundamentally grouping them from his home bedroom and removing them delivered by Royal Mail.

“We were so shocked, as any primogenitor would be, that this was so accessible to anyone.

“If you’ve got a credit label and entrance to a internet we can sequence these kind of drugs true to your home.”

Manchester West coroner Alan Walsh available a outcome of genocide by mischance since of a sum effects of diazepam and other medicines in Jason’s system.

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Science Photo Library

Image caption

Benzodiazepines can be prescribed for nap disorders

Manchester West coroner Alan Walsh available a outcome of genocide by mischance since of a sum effects of diazepam and other medicines in Jason’s system.

He called on Home Secretary Theresa May to take “urgent action” into a supply of benzodiazepines and other drugs online to forestall serve deaths.

The coroner also highlighted concerns over one sold online tradesman that had granted several drugs to Jason in padded envelopes by a post.

In response, after an interest by a Home Office, a medicines regulator a Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) was means to tighten down a site.

However, 5 live Investigates has determined that a tradesman handling underneath a identical name is now gift to supply benzodiazepines and other medication. The website is gift 10mg branded benzodiazepine pills in packets of 1,000. It says it will broach to any UK residence within 3 to 5 days.

The MHRA pronounced that websites reported to be suspected of handling illegally are investigated entirely and suitable movement is taken.

The tradesman did not respond to requests for criticism about Jason Houghton’s genocide or a online activities.

Research published in The British Journal of Psychiatry in 2014 questioned 1,500 members of a ubiquitous open about their use of benzodiazepines and so called “Z drugs” used to provide insomnia.

A sum of 30% had dissipated one or some-more of these drugs and 27% of these reported receiving a drugs around a internet, while a serve 11% bought them from abroad.

According to total from a Health and Social Care Information Centre, in 2014/15 scarcely 18,000 people perceived sanatorium diagnosis for drug poisoning related to benzodiazepines in England, while 584 children underneath a age of 18 were also treated.

Lady Rhona Bradley, arch executive of a piece obsession gift Addiction Dependency Solutions, said: “Addiction to remedy drugs is a hugely underestimated emanate in a UK – estimates trust there could be some-more than one million people dependant to such prescribed remedy as benzodiazepines.

“We need targeted diagnosis services, apart from mainstream ethanol and drug services.

“The biggest worry for us is that those who have spin involuntarily addicted, spin so reliant and unfortunate due to a miss of support, services and advice, that they spin to a internet to addition their addiction.”

Benzodiazepines are theme to authorised restrictions in a UK both underneath medicines law and by a Home Office underneath a Misuse of Drugs Act.

However, substantial activity takes place online, outward UK jurisdiction.

A Home Office matter said: “Our proceed to drugs is operative and there has been a long-term downward trend in drug use over a final decade. We continue, however, to be endangered about a harms caused by drug misuse, including in propinquity to prescription-only medicines.

“That’s because we continue to control a series of prescription-only medicines underneath a Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. These embody benzodiazepines, tramadol, morphine, codeine and diazepam, and we have consecrated a Advisory Council on a Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to demeanour into a issues around a diversion and unlawful supply of these medicines.”

5 live Investigates is on BBC 5 live on Sunday 20 Dec during 11:00 GMT. You can listen online afterwards or download a programme podcast.