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Over 30 drug related deaths in five years

THERE were over 30 drug related deaths in the local council area in just five years, it has been revealed.

The shocking figures were revealed by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) in its five year report into drug-related deaths, released this week. In total, from 2015 until 2019, there were 31 deaths caused by drugs in the Fermanagh and Omagh district area.

While the figures are fairly consistent over the five years, with six drug deaths in 2015, five in 2016, and four in 2017, there appears to have been a spike in 2018 when 11 local people died as a result of drugs.

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The figure came back down to five deaths in 2019.

While the local figures are not broken down in terms of age, sex, or the type of drugs involved, the overall figures for the North give an insight into the demographics of those who have died and why.

For example, of the 191 drug-related deaths registered in the North in 2019, almost half were deaths of men aged 25-44.

The majority of these were classed as ‘drug misuse deaths.’

NISRA has noted that since 2010, over half of all drug-related deaths involved an opioid.

Indeed, in 2019, 128 of the 191 deaths mentioned an opioid on the death certificate. Heroin and morphine were the most frequently mentioned opioids.

In addition, cocaine related deaths have been increasing, but while diazepam was listed in 36.6 percent of deaths, this was down on previous years.

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NISRA has noted economic factors also play a part in these deaths.

“People living in the most deprived areas are five times more likely to die from a drug-related death than those in the least deprived areas,” they said.

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