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ADHD drugs shortage fuels online black market

Drugs used to treat ADHD are being openly traded in "potentially lethal" doses to UK buyers on encrypted apps, a BBC North West investigation has found.

Criminals are cashing in on a national shortage to offer the prescription tablets in a secret mail-order service.

The BBC found an unregulated online market stacked with medication which high street chemists were struggling to stock.

It is feared patients are turning to the black market in desperation, but one psychiatrist has warned some of the drugs could contain other potentially harmful chemicals.

Thousands of people with ADHD have been unable to get prescribed medication amid a major supply shortage.

The BBC has heard how the situation has left children and adults in limbo and with the shortage set to last until December many are believed to be turning to illegitimate traders to help treat the condition.

The BBC took these findings to Dr Morgan Toerien, associate specialist in mental health at Beyond Clinics in Warrington, who said: "A lot of these drugs are potentially lethal, not just dangerous - particularly if you weren't used to taking them and if you took a higher dose.

"During my work in illicit drug treatment, we've tested people alleged to have taken a lot of the drugs seen on this channel and they don't actually contain what they say they do."

He said people could be taking a tablet purporting to be to treat ADHD, but could be "far more dangerous".

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Source: BBC News, 28 February 2024


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