NewsCrime Desk

Home-made tablets rife inside for pill-popping lags

Tranquilisers are the contraband drug of choice in Irish prisons
Tranquilisers are the contraband drug of choice in Irish prisons

PILL-popping prisoners are using home-made tablets being supplied by gangsters on the outside.

Tranquiliser tablets have become the choice contraband drug among inmates behind bars, according to Sunday World sources.

They are difficult for the sniffer dogs to find and are easier to hide internally.

However, unmarked tablets from dubious sources have already made several inmates sick after downing the pills.

“They’re like birds pecking at seeds if a stash is found. They don’t even care what they take,” said a source.

“They get drugs on the inside and then their families on the outside are paid a visit and told they owe money, they don’t get a choice,” added the source.

Vulnerable prisoners have also been forced to hide drug stashes behind bars or smuggle tablets into jail after temporary release.

The Sunday World previously reported how one prisoner on release from Castlerea Prison claims he was forced at gunpoint to stuff a cache of several hundred tablets in his back passage before going back to jail.

Despite the concerns over drugs, the level of seizures has dropped within the prison system.

Increased security measures since 2009, including sniffer dogs, body scanners, screen visits and a confidential phone line, has seen seizures fall. A number of significant drug seizures have been attributed to the hot-line.

It estimated that drugs are sold inside prison at more than three times the going rate on the outside, making it a very lucrative business.