A LARNE teenager has revealed her shocking experience with a deadly drug that has the potential to “wreck people’s lives”.
Speaking from her home in one of the town’s estates, the girl – who did not wish to be identified due to fear of reprisal from ruthless drug dealers – told the Times that Larne is being “flooded” with a white powder known as NRG-1, which she claims is readily available to young people for as little as £10 a gram.
And she even claimed that the drug, which is reputed to be stronger than cocaine and more addictive than heroin, can be delivered straight to people’s front doors with just a quick phone call.
The claims prompted Oliver McMullan, MLA, to urge for the appointment of a specialist advisor to support parents facing the “dial-a-drug” nightmare.
Jane (not her real name) said: “I took NRG-1 every day for about four months. It is so easy to get a hold of that all I have to do is make a phone call and it will be brought round to my door within 20 minutes.
“You can order it online and it can be picked up easily in the town. I was offered the drug without even asking for it.”
Jane also claimed the town is “bursting” with other illegal substances such as cocaine, speed and Ecstasy – all available “at the other end of a phone”.
The chemical make-up of NRG-1, otherwise known as naphyrone, is similar to that of mephedrone, the notorious legal high that was banned by the Government in 2010 after it was linked to a string of deaths. NRG-1 emerged as a replacement and was likewise subject to controls as a Class B drug.
Naphyrone comes as a white, crystalline powder which is usually snorted, or swallowed by wrapping it in a cigarette paper – a technique known as ‘bombing’.
Effects are similar to amphetamines, Ecstasy or cocaine, making users feel euphoric and more confident.
But it is feared that naphyrone is much more potent than mephedrone, making it more likely that users could overdose on the drug. Side-effects include adverse impact on the heart and blood vessels and hyperthermia.
Jane said she has now stopped taking the drug as she is fearful of what could happen if she continues down this path.
“When I was on NRG-1, all I could think about was my next fix. It makes you hallucinate and causes your whole body to shake.
“I have no idea what was in the drug, but I just wanted more and more and there was nothing anyone could have said to me that would have made me stop,” she added.
“However, I finally realised that if something were to happen to me because of this drug, it would not just be my life I would be messing up, but my family’s as well. I didn’t want them to have to go through that because of me,” she added.
Jane’s worried father said he was terrified that drugs such as NRG-1 could end up costing his daughter her life.
He added: “She came into the house one morning and was a complete mess. She just lay down on the sofa and was shaking violently, and I have been scared to let her out of my sight since.
“Larne is bursting at the seems with drugs that are far too cheap and too easy to get a hold of. If they weren’t so easy to access, then fewer young people would be taking them. My daughter even told me that she had been given free samples of certain drugs from some dealers as a tester just to get her hooked.
“I am at my wits end and just don’t know what to do anymore. It is only a matter of time before someone loses their life to NRG-1 or one of the other drugs that are being pushed on young people in the town.”
East Antrim MLA Oliver McMullan spoke of his shock at what he branded a “dial-a-drug” service and has now called for a special drug advisor to be brought into the town to provide support to parents.
“It is alarming that young people are able to access drugs without even going out their front door. There are parents in Larne who are crying out for help because their children are off their heads on drugs and they don’t know where to turn,” he added.
“The UDA and the UVF have the drug scene in Larne divided up between them and there is a feud going on over who will emerge on top. The police know who these dealers are, but are only paying lip service to the drug problem in the town. I have even heard about parents going straight to drug dealers and telling them to stop selling to their kids.
“There are groups in the town such as PAL (Preventing Addiction Larne) who are trying to tackle the problem and should be commended for their efforts, but clearly more needs to be done when young people are able to get drugs delivered to their homes,” Mr McMullan concluded.