Minister Joe Fitzpatrick who warned MSPs about fake valium threat.
By Bill Heaney
Fake Valium has become a major concern in communities across Scotland. The Minister for Public Health, Sport and Well-being, Joe Fitzpatrick, warned MSPs at Holyrood this week:
“We are hearing, anecdotally, increasing concerns about it from across Scotland. It is one of the areas in which I hope that we and our United Kingdom Government colleagues can work together.”
Mr Fitzpatrick added: “Right now, a person can go online—I will not name particular websites—and buy, for a relatively small amount of money, a pill press that can churn out those lethal pills by the thousands.
“I cannot understand the justification for such devices. I hope that the Scottish, UK, Welsh and Northern Irish Governments can work together to regulate sale of pill presses, which are potentially responsible for producing a large amount of the really dangerous street Valium and other pills that are circulating in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK.”
He said: “The task force and I were both acutely aware of the risks that the pandemic and changes in how services are delivered, that were made as a result of lockdown measures, could pose to people who are reliant upon treatment and support.
“The task force has continued to meet regularly throughout the pandemic, and has taken forward a range of work to mitigate the risks. That work has included the rapid development of a series of recommendations, which have been implemented by the Scottish Government and others.”
Bill Bowman MSP said: “Fake Valium and drugs from so-called pill presses have, anecdotally, had a crippling effect on health in Dundee, where etizolam-related deaths rocketed by 500 per cent in 2018.
“The drugs death toll for 2019 will not, I understand, be known until December at the earliest, and experts fear the worst. “