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UTV's new current affairs series investigates Northern Ireland's prescription addiction

Presenter Sharon O'Neill investigates Northern Ireland's prescription addiction. Photo: UTV

UTV delves deep into the murky world of the dark web to highlight the abuse of prescription medication in Northern Ireland, in a new hard-hitting current affairs series Up Close which launches on Tuesday at 10.40pm.

Presenter Sharon O’Neill says: “Prescription drugs have played a part in more deaths than road crashes in the past 10 years.

"UTV wanted to lift the lid on what has become a way of life for many … lives lived in the shadows and in some cases played out in the corners of the dark web.

The vulnerable and those living on the margins are 10 times more likely to be killed abusing prescription drugs.

– Sharon O'Neill

"This programme highlights how thousands of local people are dicing with death in the form of neatly packaged prescription pills such as Tramadol, Co-Codamol, Codene and Oxycodone which when misused become a killer.

"This is an untold story of untold misery.”

Sharon speaks with grieving families, families currently battling addiction, ex-addicts, medical professionals and the PSNI who are tackling this problem.

Credit: UTV

Terry Brennan, Head of News and Programmes, UTV said: “UTV is renowned for its hard-hitting investigations and this new current affairs series Up Close gives us the opportunity to delve more deeply into the big stories affecting Northern Ireland.

“We have been raising awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse for months now on UTV Live.

"With pills costing as little as 10p on the streets, often provided by crime gangs overseas, this is a frightening story which has to be told.”

Up Close - Northern Ireland’s Prescription Addiction this Tuesday (25 April) at 10.40pm on UTV.