Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland drug deaths 'different from rest of UK'

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Image caption The study found that most NI drug deaths were linked to prescription drugs

Drugs-related deaths in Northern Ireland are mostly linked to prescription drugs, unlike other regions of the UK, a study suggests.

Whereas the vast majority of drug-related deaths in the UK are linked to opiates such as heroin and morphine, in NI most relate to other drugs.

The research was carried out by St George's, University of London.

It found there was a small decrease in the overall number of drug-related deaths in Northern Ireland.

There were 78 such deaths in 2012 as opposed to 82 in 2011.

In Northern Ireland, higher proportions of deaths were attributed to the misuse of drugs such as Tramadol, benzodiazepines and anti-depressants.

Northern Ireland also displayed a substantially lower proportion of deaths attributed to heroin/morphine and methadone than other regions of the UK, such as the south of England, the midlands and London.

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