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Videos can use content-based copyright law contains reasonable use Fair Use (https://www.youtube.com/yt/copyright/). EXPERTS are warning over illegal diazepam as more Brits turn to the internet in an attempt to self-medicate. New figures obtained by the BBC found the number of pills entering the UK from overseas has more than doubled in a year. Border Force staff intercepted 1.3 million diazepam tablets in the postal system in 2018 – up from 545,000 in 2017. Doctors warn that the authenticity of these drugs can’t be trusted – and possessing them without a prescription is illegal. The Victoria Derbyshire programme visited a Border Force hub in central England where pills ordered online arrive from across the globe. Super-strength Officers said they found some diazepam pills laced with fentanyl – a potent prescription painkiller which is more powerful than morphine and could be potentially fatal. The show also tested three batches of the drug which they had bought online and found two contained diazepam, but one contained flualprazolam – an unlicensed drug that is more powerful and addictive. It is not known how many people are buying illegal or fake diazepam online, however it appears to be significant enough for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to have made seizures a priority in the past year. Self-medicating The drug – also known by its brand name Valium – is a class C drug in the UK, and is commonly used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms and seizures. But experts say people with mental health issues are increasingly self-medicating by buying diazepam illegally online. It’s becoming such a problem that an organisation known as the Addiction to Online Medicine Service (Atom) has been set up by the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, Atom’s consultant psychiatrist, told the BBC: “The internet has been a game-changer. “People are experiencing high anxiety or severe depression or sometimes chronic pain and they find that these drugs make them feel better and their dose just goes up and up and up.” ‘More dangerous that heroin’ He warned that coming off high doses of diazepam could be more dangerous that heroin withdrawal. Dr Bowden-Jones added: “If people are addicted to it and they stop suddenly, then they are at risk of having a seizure and of course that could potentially be life-threatening.” The MHRA said selling prescription-only medicines outside of the legal supply chain was a serious criminal offence. It said: “Diazepam is scheduled under the Misuse of Drugs Act and classified as a prescription-only medicine for a reason. “Prescription medicines are – by their very nature – potent and must be prescribed by a healthcare professional based on their clinical judgement and access to patient records.” A Home Office spokesman said: “Border Forc