Online drug dealers are selling deadly weight-loss pills that has already killed 25 people to teenagers at a really low price
These pills have been linked to more than a dozen deaths across the UK alone and some of the dealers have even promised delivery within three working days.
An investigation in the UK has found out that dangerous diet pills are being sold to teens on Instagram for a cost as small as 90p. The online image sharing site has been allowing dealers from across the planet to sell the pills to girls who are as young as 13. The posts all feature celebrities with slim figures that are being used to entice teens.
Some of the dealers have even promised that the pills will be delivered to the buyers' doorstep within three days. These pills have been linked to more than a dozen deaths across the UK alone. The news of the deadly drugs comes in the wake of the release of a new weight-loss pill called the "holy grail" hitting the market. The trials of the Lorcaserin pills have found that it helps with weight-loss and has also been described as the first of its kind for being safe to use. The drugs that are being sold on the social media site, however, are anything but safe.
The investigation done by The Sun found out that the advertising of the sale for dinitrophenol (DNP), which is an industrial chemical that is used as a pesticide, has been connected to the deaths of five people in 2018 alone. It has also been described as being illegal for human consumption. The pills are also taking a lead over the high-risk slimming pills that are said to contain phentermine which has been linked to heart attacks and strokes. Some of the sellers online are also posting "before" and "after" images of young women who have allegedly shed weight because of the pills.
One of the dealer's accounts on the social media site has a post that shows a young girl saying, "Two months on weight loss journey and 12kg down with the help of Duromine!!!!" A government study that had been conducted in 2017 showed that almost a third of the people who had been trying to shed the pounds have used unlicensed weight-loss pills and about 63% of them have suffered severe side-effects that include uncontrollable bleeding and heart issues.
The banned drug DNP works by causing the metabolism in a person to speed up but this can lead to fatal overheating of the body which victims have described as feeling like they were being "boiled alive". The drug has been linked to the deaths of 23 people in the UK since 2012 and last week, the Public Health England warned the population that deaths from ingesting DNP were on the rise.
The National Poisons Information Service says there have been 25 deaths since 2007, including five in the first half of this year.
In June this year, an online dealer had been put in prison after he supplied the drug to 21-year-old Eloise Parry who died after she took 8 pills in 2015 that all contained DNP. Eloise, who was a student from Shrewsbury, Shrops, purchased the drugs from a website that had been run by 31-year-old Bernard Rebelo from Gosport, Hants. The man has made more than £200,000 from selling the deadly drug.
Uni student Eloise Parry died after taking drugs sold by Bernard Rebelo https://t.co/qQOaY5en81— BBC Wales News (@BBCWalesNews) June 29, 2018
Fifty-five-year-old Fiona Parry, Eloise's mother, told The Sun, "Parents should be aware that slimming pills like DNP are available on sites like Instagram. I was not. When it comes to dangers like that, the only way you can protect your children is to give them the information and hope they make the right choices. You can’t protect them from the dangers if they don’t know they exist. Something should be done to stop the availability on the internet. I wish the pills were not available like this but it’s very difficult to stop. Governments and politicians have a role in terms of regulating what is out there on the internet. It requires cooperation globally to be effective. We are nowhere near that."
A reporter from the publication went undercover during the investigation and approached a dealer, who is based in Europe, on Instagram. The dealer offered 100 DNP pills for £90 along with free shipping and tracking. The dealer also sent the reporter a message on how many to take and said, "Start out with one every other day for one week to check for allergies. Do that for 1-2 weeks and see how you handle the side-effects. Can up the dosage to 400mg/day after that if desired."
When the reporter asked the dealer about any side-effects from taking the pills, he replied, "Sweating, insomnia, lethargy are the worst, sometimes cramps due to dehydration." The dealer then bragged about how quickly he can deliver the pills and wrote, "From what I’ve heard and seen from other UK customers, 3-4 working days." Other dealers on Instagram have been uncovered selling phentermine under other names that include Duromine, which is one of the popular brands of the pill.
'I hope we will see more convictions'— ITV News (@itvnews) June 29, 2018
The mother of bulimic student Eloise Parry, who died after taking toxic slimming pills, has told ITV News she hopes more people will be convicted after the man who sold her daughter DNP pills was jailed https://t.co/psxkUep1cI pic.twitter.com/N5eHIkkPFD
Phentermine has been described as having similar effects to amphetamines and is known to cause an increased heart rate, raised blood pressure, and vomiting. The drug is legal if bought on a private prescription in the UK after a 2000 ban was overturned but it has not been prescribed by the NHS because it is known to cause heart attacks, strokes, and impotence. An overdose of the drug can cause hallucinations, seizures, severe headaches, blurred vision, and vomiting.
Since April 2013, the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which is the organization that controls the safety of medicines, has said that it has seized about £5million of "dodgy diet pills". The chairperson of the Food Standards Agency, Heather Hancock, has said, "We would like to remind people that DNP is a industrial chemical which should not be consumed under any circumstances. Doing so could be and has been, fatal. We are relentless in pursuing those seeking to profit from the illegal sale of this toxic substance for human consumption."