THE SEIZURE of 2000 Xanax tablets in Harryville has been described as "alarming" by a local councillor.
Police conducted a search in Harryville on Tuesday (July 3) resulting in the discovery of the drugs.
A male at the address was arrested and was later granted bail pending further enquiries.
A Facebook post by PSNI officers said “abuse of medication and drugs such as this is on the rise”.
It continued: “"For those of you who don’t know Xanax is one of the more toxic central nervous system depressants.
"It is quite possible to accidentally overdose on Xanax alone.
"Xanax is normally consumed along with other sedative substances such as alcohol, thereby suppressing the central nervous system to such a point that the body slows to a stop.
"There is a real danger in taking medication that’s not prescribed to you and/or which you can’t vouch for the integrity of."
Councillor Stephen Nicholl said the find was both “welcomed and alarming”.
He added: "Obviously the removal of such a quantity of highly addictive drugs is welcome but the fact that they are present in our community in such numbers is very concerning.
"Xanax is a highly addictive drug which even when prescribed legally carries a risk of addiction which requires careful management by health professionals.
"When taken illegally not only is the incidence of addiction high those taking the drug must increase the amount they take over time to get the same effects."
He continued: "Recently The Guardian newspaper reported the comments of some people witnessing the effects of the drug. One person said the most social person in the world will be reduced to a zombie-like state for days – it’s the personality equaliser, everyone becomes boring.
"Removing the drugs from our streets is welcome, removing a dealer is more welcome, removing the people at the top of the criminal gangs poisoning our children will represent a real success.
"While the drug is here and being used there needs to be proper support for those who having become addicted need medical and community support to break that addiction.”
Xanax produces its calming effects by suppressing the inhibitory receptors in the brain and central nervous system to decrease the abnormal excitement in the brain that leads to anxiety symptoms.
Known on the street as “bars,” “planks,” or “zanies,” Xanax abuse is ever-increasing.
Some individuals combine Xanax with other downer drugs like opiates or alcohol in order to increase the pleasurable feelings.
This can lead to negative health consequences such as respiratory arrest, coma and death.