GARDAÍ say more and more drugs are being ordered online and being delivered in the post since the outbreak of Covid-19.
The pandemic movement restrictions mean drug users are now finding it more difficult to get their supplies from the usual sources and many who previously purchased drugs locally are now turning to the internet to order substances.
In recent weeks, there were a number of seizures of drugs sent in the post to addresses in West Cork.
However, gardaí believe that many are not being detected in the postal system before they arrive at the customer’s door.
The Health Service Executive has issued a fresh warning to drug users about the dangers of purchasing substances online.
The HSE statement says: “This market is constantly evolving and new substances are emerging onto the scene on a regular basis.
“Services should keep informed of trends and continue to link in with drugs.ie for up to date development and links to report.
“There could be changes to the market as a result of Covid-19 which increases the risks for people. You can’t trust the contents of un-prescribed tablets or how you will react.”
The HSE has taken a harm reduction approach in advising people to be cautious.
The executive advises: “Changing the type of drug you use or using new drugs increases the risk of overdose. Start very low and go very slow. Avoid using more than one drug at a time.”
Recently, gardaí in Dublin collaborated with Revenue and the Health Products Regulatory Authority in a search operation at Dublin Airport which resulted in the seizure of a package containing approximately 7,200 Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) capsules, which claim to treat symptoms of Covid-19.
A further 10,000 non-compliant ‘surgical face masks’ were also seized as part of the consignment.
In a follow-up search, more than 6,000 further tablets were seized during the operation.