DRUG dealers are said to be “playing Russian Roulette” with young lives in Newtownstewart after three people were rendered unconscious following the consumption of illegal substances in the past few weeks.
Sinn Féin councillor Kieran Maguire said that in one incident a 17-year-old boy was found lying by the side of a road, while two others also had to be resuscitated due to the effects of drugs.
Local parish priest, Fr Brian Donnelly, has warned parents in the town to “be alert”, as fears grow that anti-social behaviour that has plagued Newtownstewart for months has extended to drug dealing.
“Our young people are the targets for this exploitative behaviour and I do not know what the remedy is,” Fr Donnelly said.
“These substances jeopardise the health and wellbeing of our youth. Parents and everyone in the wider community need to be alert because there is hardly a townland, village, town or city which hasn’t being affected by drugs.”
Sinn Féin councillor, Kieran McGuire, has accused the drug dealers of “playing Russian Roulette” with the lives of young local people.
He has once again urged the Housing Executive and other relevant agencies to step in and address the anti-social behaviour and drug dealing which is being blamed on a ‘criminal element’ which has relocated into Newtownstewart.
“The unscrupulous dealers involved, who are plying their poison for pure greed, do not care one iota about the potentially lethal consequences of their actions,” he said.
“To any young person in Newtownstewart or elsewhere, who may think it ‘cool’ to take something to fit in, the message from these incidents is clear.
“Don’t allow drug dealers to play Russian Roulette with your life.”
Cllr McGuire said he had written to the chief executive of the Housing Executive over the issue.
“An education process has to be put in place to help parents and the community of Newtownstewart and other local areas to be more aware of the impact and availability of drugs and the effect that they can have,” he added.