Drug users' 'lethal' diet of 'Special K' horse tranquilliser
Published: 13 Sep 2012 14:300 comments
The severity of the illegal drug problem in Fermanagh is highlighted further this week with the revelation that Ketamine, a powerful anaesthetic used in human and horse surgery, is becoming popular among drug users.
'Special K' which can be snorted, injected, swallowed and smoked can cause respiratory failure.
Police Inspector Roy Robinson has confirmed that his officers have seized small quantities of the drug during searches in the county and warns: "Horse tranquilliser is lethal to humans and has fatal consequences."
He added: "It is hard to know why anybody would want to consume something that is for a horse; if you just imagine what this does to a horse and here you have people taking it, it sends a shudder through me."
Inspector Robinson says police want to put a stop to people experimenting with this type of drug.
"They really are playing with fire. To think people are using stuff that puts a horse to sleep. No human being should be using anything like this," he said.
And while Inspector Robinson stops short of describing the drug situation here as an epidemic, he maintains that partner agencies such as the health service must get involved to help out police.
"We don't have a drugs clinic in Fermanagh like they have in Ballymena, and it's hard to get a handle on the scale of it. I think all agencies must get involved and information must be passed on to the police because if we can reduce this then we can reduce it overall," he said.
But speaking to The Impartial Reporter this week, Health Minister Edwin Poots said the PSNI and the Department of Justice must act.
"Drugs are a scourge on our society and unfortunately there are people who are profiting from them. They will continue to attempt to push their drugs and the police and the Department of Justice need to do all that they can to ensure their availability is reduced as far as possible."
Mr. Poots added: "Horse tranquilliser is extremely dangerous and the side-effects are very, very bad. It is quite remarkable the length drug dealers will go to to profit at other people's expense. But it stands to sense that tranquilliser for a horse is something that humans should not be taking into their body. There are lots of other stuff out there that is extremely dangerous. There are people who think taking cannabis is alright, but it is not alright - it causes damage to the brain. The fact people are using horse tranquilliser in Fermanagh does not surprise me, it is something that is a problem in areas such as Belfast too."
Dr. Scott Payne, Consultant Psychiatrist in Addictions with the Western Social Care and Health Trust has said at least one person has received treatment for taking Ketamine in this area.
He warns that users can become "very dependent" on the drug.
"It can have chronic effect on the bladder and cause all sorts of long-term problems that can come on quite easily. It is worrying when we see cases like this," he said.
After two - unrelated - deaths from suspected drugs overdoses last month the police have pledged to tackle the problem in Fermanagh and have had a number of successful finds in recent weeks.
Last Friday officers in Enniskillen seized a quantity of cannabis resin after they stopped a van in the Kilmacormick Avenue area of the town. Two males aged 18 and 19 were arrested. They were interviewed and subsequently released on police bail pending further enquiries and a detailed analysis of the drugs.
Inspector Robinson says police are "continually carrying out operations across the county", but declined to provide any additional information.
"It is an ongoing quest all of the time; we do have continual running operations, but I can't really comment further on that."
The PSNI issued a statement at the weekend saying they were determined to eradicate the drug problem and appealed for support from the local community.
"The key to reducing the availability of drugs on our streets is information. The Enniskillen public are encouraged 'not to turn a blind eye' to the sale and supply of illegal drugs in our towns and villages. Local police are dedicated towards tackling the issue of drugs. This will remain a policing priority and we want to reassure the public that we will act upon any information received," said a spokesperson.
Commentscomments powered by Disqus
Get more stories from our Roundup section
12 Mar 2014 17:00 • Rodney Edwards
THE Housing Executive has responded to comments made by Councillor Stephen Huggett who last week said he hoped a fellow councillor would put a ‘bomb’ underneath the association for its “abysmal record” in providing traveller accommodation.
12 Mar 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department
The adage of “a picture is worth a thousand words” is one that we have all heard but don’t really know where it ever came from.
12 Mar 2014 13:00
SOUTH West Acute Hospital (SWAH) is embracing a smoke-free environment today as the Western Trust becomes the first Health and Social Care Trust across the province to implement a complete Smoke Free Policy.
12 Mar 2014 11:30
Northern Ireland Water is to invest £5.3 million in its infrastructure across Fermanagh and Dungannon, according to Sinn Féin's Brian McCaffrey.
12 Mar 2014 10:00
A 33-year-old man was helping his father move bales from one field to another when he drove a tractor without insurance.
11 Mar 2014 19:00
A 24-year-old criminal with 60 convictions has been jailed for four months for smashing windows following an altercation with his brother over cigarettes and money.
11 Mar 2014 17:30
More women are needed in politics, states Council Alliance candidate Ann Gormley, who advocates "getting rid of the token man and making room for a competent woman."
11 Mar 2014 15:05
SOUTH West College student Kiruben Permaul will have the chance to pose questions directly to the UK Prime Minister next Wednesday in the House of Commons.
11 Mar 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department
What do you think of as a revolutionary act? Something radical that breaks the mould, something that moves beyond the norm.
11 Mar 2014 13:00
A 49-year-old man was drunk and in “bad humour” when he attacked his former partner’s house and daubed insults on her car.
11 Mar 2014 11:30
Police are investigating a spate of thefts from cars in the Ballinamallard area at the weekend.
11 Mar 2014 10:00
THE PSNI were 'justified' in using a Taser to help restrain a man who was threatening to slash his own throat in Belleek last year, the Police Ombudsman has said.
10 Mar 2014 21:39
Ballinamallard made their exit from the Setanta Cup with a 5-0 defeat at the hands of reigning Airtricity League champions St. Pat's Athletic tonight.
10 Mar 2014 19:00
A crook’s car has become a police car.
10 Mar 2014 17:00
The Department of Regional Development is to spend £2.26 million on carrying out structural maintenance on roads in Fermanagh.
10 Mar 2014 15:02
The Green Party has announced that Laurence Speight, from Derrygonnelly, is to stand for election to the new Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in May's election.
10 Mar 2014 13:00
CEREBRAL Palsy sufferer, Sarah Griffith, from Aghadrumsee will take on the challenge of a lifetime in two hours time when she begins her two mile walk around the Lakeland Forum Race Track.
10 Mar 2014 11:30
THE Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development has said “all that can be done is being done” in reducing the risk of further flooding in Fermanagh.
10 Mar 2014 10:00 • Julie Kenwell
THE final countdown is on for South West Acute Hospital’s (SWAH) transition to an entirely smoke-free site on March 12.
9 Mar 2014 22:00 • Rodney Edwards
THERE is a “very strong possibility” that human trafficking is taking place in Fermanagh.