Prescription drug linked to 33 deaths in 201
Pregabalin – also known by the brand name Lyrica, or the street name bud – is an anti-epileptic drug also used to relieve chronic pain
Northern Ireland has the highest prescription rate for pregabalin in the UK.
It is illegal to have class C drugs without a prescription and illegal to supply or sell them to others. Meanwhile the mother of a man who took his own life speaks about her struggle with addiction to prescription drugs.
- Life on Lyrica: A user's perspective
There will also be stronger controls in place to ensure accountability and minimize the chances of pregabalin falling into the wrong hands or being stockpiled by patients.
Deaths related to the drug are on the rise. misu se – one year later that figure rose to 33.
The Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs made the recommendation to reclassify the drug in a letter to ministers, including the then home secretary Theresa May, in January 2016.
The letter cited warnings from the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB), which highlighted "significant misuse and abuse" of the drug.
Where is the drug coming from?
There is a growing illicit market for the drug in Northern Ireland, with many people purchasing it online from unregulated websites.
It is understood that Lyrica has been coming to Northern Ireland in fairly constant levels for a number of years, along with other prescription drugs including diazepam and temazepam.
Packages of the drug ordered by customers in Northern Ireland are intercepted by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the UK Border Agency at airports in England every week, according to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). 9659011] Class C call on abuse or 'bud' drug
They are illicitly bought or Brokerage and Supply through the Internet and by the individuals are appearing to be using a mixture of drugs.
Joe Brogan, the HSCB's head of pharmacy and medicine management, described the number of deaths associated with pregabalin and other prescription drugs as a "scourge".
He added: "In many cases of pregabalin misuse, it has not been prescribed – it has been sourced through family or friends or bought on the street or via the internet.
" Many such drugs that are bought from illicit sources do not actually contain medicines that they purport to be.
"Any medicine can be a poison – it all depends on three things: Where you get it from – was it prescribed and su pplied from a regulated source ?; how much you take – did it take within accepted dosages? what you take with – mixing drugs together and with alcohol can create a toxic mix that is lethal. "