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Cops warn over illicit pills boom; THE NEW BLUE PLAGUE Fears for health of Scots users.

Byline: mark mcgivern m.mcgivern@dailyrecord.co.uk

POLICE Scotland's top drugs expert has warned of dangerous Xanax tablets flooding Scottish streets.

The alert by Kenny Simpson, the force's STOP co-ordinator, comes after it was revealed crooked chemists have conspired to bring millions of pharmaceutical pills into the hands of gangsters.

Like the "blue plague" pills that have hit Scotland, Xanax - a minor tranquiliser - can be deadly when mixed with other drugs.

Simpson said: "There are inherent dangers from taking any medicine that is not professionally and lawfully prescribed.

"Mixing prescription drugs with other substances increases the risk of adverse reaction or overdose. The advice is do not do it.

"We have identified an increase in use of Xanax, which appears to be mainly sourced from the internet or other illegal supply.

"It contains alprazolam which is a controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act, therefore anyone unlawfully in possession of it without a prescription commits an offence."

The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are cracking down on the diversion of prescription-only medicines on to the criminal market, after first becoming aware of a significant diversion of benzodiazepines and other drugs in 2016.

Last year, MHRA expanded operations to 19 active investigations and have made more than 40 arrests.

Between 2013 and 2016, up to PS200million of medicines were diverted on to the criminal market, putting thousands of vulnerable people at risk.

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EPIDEMIC Our story of prescription medicines flooding the criminal market in Scotland

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 31, 2018
Words:248
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