HSE appeals to Cork public to help tackle scourge of discarded drug needles

HSE appeals to Cork public to help tackle scourge of discarded drug needles

THE HSE is urging anyone who finds drug litter in Cork city to contact them to ensure the items are properly disposed of.

The coordinator for drug and alcohol services in Cork and Kerry, David Lane, told The Echo that it is "unfortunate" that people do not contact the HSE when they discover discarded syringes.

The HSE currently has a needle exchange outreach worker in Cork city, who works to remove drug litter and also directs heroin users into services including the needle exchange programme.

Mr Lane said: "He is very busy at the moment."

Last month, a nine-year-old boy found heroin needles and other drug-taking paraphernalia when he went to retrieve his football in Dunmore Gardens in Knocknaheeny.

He found three needles, spoons, blood stained tissues and condoms.

The incident came 24 hours after a syringe was found by a member of the public on Blarney Street, across the road from the entrance to Sunday's Well girls primary school.

The man who found an exposed needle and tray.

David Lane Operations Manager HSE Drug and Alcohol 
David Lane Operations Manager HSE Drug and Alcohol 

In recent months, there have been major heroin seizures in Cork, including €70,000 worth of the drug in a car in Fermoy on March 31, and €53,000 worth seized in Cork city in February.

In March, three syringes believed to have been used for heroin were found on a footpath on Knocknaheeny Avenue.

Last year, there were two incidents where children found syringes – one in Togher and one on Grattan Street.

And in another incident this year, a child found two wraps of heroin on a footpath in a Knocknaheeny housing estate.

The Echo published a photograph in recent months showing that heroin use is taking place in a phone box on Oliver Plunkett Street, across the street from the General Post Office.

* The HSE's needle exchange outreach worker can be contacted at (086) 0255410.

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