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Illegal diazepam trade down – but Scottish benzo deaths are up

Illicit fentanyl trade also noteworthy

April 17th 2018

Tagged: Clinical Zone news NHS statistical reports

By Ailsa Colquhoun

Illegal diversion of 10mg diazepam fell 64 per cent in the first five months of 2017, compared to the previous year, latest MHRA analysis shows.

Other changes include a 24 per cent fall in illegal trading in nitrazepam and a 20 per cent fall in temazepam. Zolpidem deals are also down by 14 per cent.

Between 2013 and 2016 an estimated £115-200m of medicines were diverted from the legitimate supply chain onto the criminal market, according to the MHRA.

• Deaths due to illicit use of benzodiazepines have more than doubled between 2015-16 in Scotland, new Government data shows.  The number of deaths involving a benzodiazepine has risen from 191 to 426 in 2016.  The report UK Focal Point on Drugs 2017 also reveals a spate of deaths related to fentanyls (particularly carfentanyl) in the first half of 2017.