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Counterfeit Drugs

Alarming Drugs Haul in Northern Ireland

 

Years ago, when the discovery in Ballymoney, Co. Antrim (Mary Fitzgerald, Belfast Telegraph) of a haul of counterfeit drugs destined for body-builders and other athletes , raises a few very serious questions.

This prompts us to warn athletes once again of the dangers of these drugs. First, the possession of these drugs, would be an offence even if they were not counterfeit. Nubain is a highly potent drug, which can only be handled by specific qualified persons, and patients themselves, and is normally used prior to anaesthesia. Why anyone would want to use a narcotic painkiller, especially an injectible one is almost beyond comprehension. Normally reserved for severe pain in terminal illness, or after an operation, the only other reasons to use them would be addiction, for a high, or to kill pain enough to "work out through the pain barrier".

This would be very dangerous indeed to an athlete as the Morphine-like drug would mask the sudden pain felt if an athlete tears a muscle, breaks a bone, or suffers any acute injury. In addition it would have other unwanted side effects like lowering the breathing rate, heart rate, and most of all, the ability to co-ordinate, and focus attention. So are they driving to and from the gym? Are they lifting heavy apparatus? Are they, and the people around them at risk?

 

The other injection ampoules seized were counterfeit versions of Sustanon, a version of the male Anabolic Hormone Testosterone. The "short-list" of side-effects of Testosterone include: Prostate cancer, sexuality changes, breast growth in males, loss of fertility and libido, depression, anxiety, jaundice, baldness and bone-growth. That's just for starters.

If athletes EVER considered using these products, they should be aware of the risks, and if that wasn't bad enough, the risk of being "taken for a ride" by the illegal supplier now has been proven to be very real. You can't exactly sue them when the side effects start!

In addition the counterfeit drugs are probably not sterile, may be contaminated, and could be filled with any substance, so any ill-effects would be hard to treat, bearing in mind the Doctors wouldn't know what antidotes to use!

Our advice to athletes is:

# Avoid drug methods of improving performance.

# Above all, avoid injectible drugs.

# NEVER share needles, or use needles/syringes from an unknown source.

Suppliers of illegal drugs will risk people's lives for money at anytime. In many countries counterfeit drug distribution is viewed as terrorism, and hopefully the PSNI will "throw the book" at the perpetrators. No doubt the convictions will throw up a few links that may suggest the supply-chain is not an isolated group. But above all we hope it will shock athletes, weight-lifters and body-builders into being as careful about what they put into their bodies as they are with the way they sculpt their bodies.