The PSNI has confirmed it is investigating at least four deaths but the figure is thought to be higher.
Detective Superintendent Bobby Singleton said that while the cause of death is not definitively known in the cases under investigation, ''the use of illicit drugs along with prescription drugs may be a factor.''
It is believed those who lost their lives are aged in their late teens to late twenties.
They are heartbreakingly young and their untimely deaths will bring tremendous pain and grief to their relatives and friends.
Unfortunately, we have seen too many people lose their lives to the scourge of drugs.
Clearly, the increasing availability and misuse of prescription medication is a growing concern for the police and health professionals.
SDLP councillor Paul McCusker, who is a nurse at the Mater Hospital in north Belfast, has provided an insight into the challenges faced by frontline healthcare staff over the Christmas period.
Source: The Irish News, 4th January 2019