Teens find 'heroin kit' and used needles

Published Friday, 01 August 2014
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The discovery of a used drugs kit - believed to contain heroin - by children in west Belfast has led one campaigner to warn that the deadly drug is becoming more available on our streets.

The drugs paraphernalia, including used needles, was found by four teenagers playing in the grounds of a derelict school in the Whiterock area.

They gave it to community leaders and tests will now be carried out to determine if the drug is in fact heroin.

The dangerous find has alarmed parents living in the area.

Community worker Benny Lynch told UTV that actually injecting hard drugs had not been a major issue in Belfast in the past, with smoking them more common.

But awareness is growing of the increasing use of needles - which pose a serious infection risk, including to the wider public if discarded.

These needles were left in a space where they could be accessed by young people. And if they had been pricked by them, god knows what the outcome would have been.

Benny Lynch, community worker

"We've found needles in the past, but we've never come across such a full kit as this for injecting before," Mr Lynch said.

Pharmacist Terry Maguire said: "Heroin is a drug that was designed to get into the body very rapidly, and also to get into the brain very rapidly.

"As a result of that, it is an extremely dangerous drug - certainly for someone who has never used it before - because the dose is very hard to manage."

He added: "I think the concern would be that when you discard kits and needles that have been used by individuals, there's a risk first of all regarding the contents of the needle - but also the infective agents, because very often people who use needles and share needles will share infections, HIV, and also hepatitis, and these are very serious conditions."

© UTV News
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2 Comments
lucylou in belfast wrote (83 days ago):
Well Jenny, now you have demonstrated how knowledgeable you are about drugs; maybe if you post your address these prats can leave their next used drugs kit at YOUR door. That way ,if there's any Hep c going YOU can have it! Don't underplay the seriousness of what these idiots left abandoned for kids to find. You may be pleased they had 'clean kit, sterile water and proper vitamin c,. Bully for them --looking after themselves while not giving a toss about anyone else they might possibly harm. you say it would have been MUCH MUCH safer had they disposed of their kit properly then the unbelievable comes----scaremongering doesn't help anyone!. Believe you me in this case it helps more than talking about it as though they had left a few sweetie wrappers!!! Needle stick injuries in any medical facility are taken very seriously.I wonder why??
Jenny Black in Belfast wrote (90 days ago):
In the news report the word 'deadly' was used twice for extra effect. Why? Actually, if I worked in the needle exchange I would be very pleased to see that the people using on that site had got themselves clean kit, sterile water and proper vitamin C. It's very encouraging that people are engaging with drug services, and they are likely to be more healthy because they do. If 'campaigners' recognise the infection potential from used kit they shouldn't be parading them around for the media but dispose of them proporly and safely. And a pharmacist should know better than to lead people to believe it is easy to be infected with HIV from old needles. It is possible to be infected with Hep C but as HIV becomes inactive very quickly outside of the body it is very unlikely that HIV would be transmitted. Of course, ot would be much much safer for the people involved to have disposed of their kit properly, but scaremongering doesn't help anyone.
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