Benzodiazapine, a group of drugs which includes Fentanyl, a powerful painkiller which is believed to have caused the death of a 32-year-old man in Enniskillen in recent weeks was seized 28 times by police in the last 365 days.

Chief Inspector Graham Dodds was giving the Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) an operational overview presentation on drugs in Fermanagh and Omagh District.

He told members of the PCSP that the drugs were the biggest concern out of all the drugs which are in circulation in Fermanagh.

In the presentation, Chief Inspector Dodds showed their had been 332 total drug seizures in the District over the last 365 days.

Cannabis was the most common drug seized, a total 261 times. This was followed by cocaine (43), benzodiazapines (28) and ecstasy (21).

“Out of that Benzodiazapine would concern me the most because of the danger of it,” said Chief Inspector Dodds.

“Benzodiazapines are very dangerous medical grade drugs and shouldn’t be used by anybody other than under the most strict supervision.

He told members that with Fentanyl, which usually come sin patches, users are sucking out the contents of the patch or in some cases eating the patch.

“While all drug are dangerous that are on that list. Benzodiazapine that to me is where there is real harm because people seem to think it’s medicine it couldn’t be that bad I can handle it.

“In a recent one we had some anecdotal evidence people involved had boasted previously we have taken all the drugs we can handle this. Sadly one of them couldn’t.”

The presentation showed that a total of 176 people were arrested with 41 charged and 135 cautioned or given an alternative disposal such as the Youth Community Resolution Programme.

The presentation also showed RAPID Drugs Disposal Bins, which are in use around the district to help with the removal and disposal of prescription and illegal drugs had resulted in 34,656 items taken off the streets.

Of the five in use, the bin at Rooney’s Cornagrade, Enniskillen collected 17,247 items since July, 2017.

The bin at the ARC Healthy Living Centre, Irvinestown collected 3,611 items, and SuperValu, Omagh 13,031 in the same period.

Bins at Castlepark Centre, Lisnaskea and FIND Centre, Enniskillen collected 487 and 280 items respectively since March, 2019.

Councillor Keith Elliott described the stats as disturbing and asked if there were any figures in regard to deaths relating to drugs.

Although there were no figures available at the meeting, Denise McCallion of the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) told members that drug deaths were increasing in the Western area.