Street drugs sold as Valium were associated with an “unprecedented” number of fatal overdoses in Glasgow.
Health leaders fear that “Valium Street”, also known as “street blues”, may be associated with a sharp increase in the number of drug-related deaths in the city.
In January-October last year, the number of people who died from drug overdose increased by 43% compared to the same period in 2017.
According to them, more and more people are receiving non-fatal overdose treatment in hospitals and crisis services throughout the city, they said.
The use of naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effect of an opiate overdose, has also been reported. Saket Priyadarshi, assistant medical director at the NHS drug treatment service, Greater Glasgow & Clyde, said he was "very concerned."
He said: “When people buy street blues, they do not know what is in the pills.
“The quality and dosage can be very different.
"People may think they are taking diazepam, but it could be other, more potent benzodiazepines, such as etizolam."
“The use of this drug, in particular, is associated with serious harm, from overdose without death and presentations in emergency departments to deaths.”
“This is especially dangerous when used in combination with other drugs such as heroin and even prescribed methadone.
“Although the final toxicology is not yet available due to the recent deaths in Glasgow, all evidence suggests that the use of street blues is associated with an alarming trend of increasing drug-related deaths.”
Dealers are said to sell it for a “penny” to vulnerable people, including those living in homeless settlements, where employees have witnessed a number of drug-related deaths.
Suzanne Millar, chairman of the Glasgow Alcohol and Drug Partnership, said: “There are currently an unprecedented number of fatal and nonfatal overdoses in Glasgow, which are believed to be related to the use of street Valium, although we will not know completely until we have all toxicology.
“People take deadly cubes while taking this drug, especially if it is mixed with alcohol and other drugs.
“The warnings were issued to people by the services of homelessness and addiction, but, unfortunately, dealers target the most vulnerable.
“Among the residents of sedentary homeless people, there have been a number of deaths, which is tragic and very unusual.
"Support is provided to personnel who are confronted with human tragedies when verifying service users."
A gang was recently imprisoned for producing about £ 1.6 million on Valium Street in a garage in Paisley, Renfrewshire, where police confiscated a tablet press capable of producing 250,000 tablets per hour.
Chief Inspector Michael Duddy said: “The Scottish police in Glasgow continues to work with health and social care partners in the Glasgow Drug Abuse Partnership to monitor and respond to drug trends, including cases of suspected deaths related to drugs, in order to inform medical care. , treatment and policing. "
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