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Pet dog got used druggie needle stuck in his paw; Syringes discarded.

Byline: CHRIS MARZELLA

A St Ninians resident has hit out at drug paraphernalia being dumped near her home after her pet dog stood on a used needle.

The resident told the Observer the area had been plagued by drug problems in recent years.

She was speaking following the story in last Wednesday's Observer about a drug and alcohol treatment programme being relocated to St Ninians Health Centre from Stirling Community Hospital.

The woman said she regularly sees components from what has been described as a "one-hit drug kit" strewn around the area - including needles, syringe wrappers and alcohol prep pads.

The resident, who does not wish to be named, said discarded medical refuse was a familiar sight in shrubbery close to football pitches next to the health centre.

The woman also told how last summer, while walking her dog at the football field the five-year- old springer spaniel stepped on a syringe needle which had been thrown away.

She said: "At first I thought that he had got a stone stuck in his foot but when he lifted his paw up I could see there was a needle hanging out of it.

"I rushed him to the vet and luckily whatever was on the needle didn't make it in to his bloodstream.

"He was given a course of antibiotics but it still cost me around PS80 for the treatment."

On another occasion, also at the field close to the health centre, residents rushed to stop children playing with a discarded needle, the woman said.

She added: "There was a group of kids kicking along something and I saw one of them pick it up.

"As I got closer I heard one of them say something about a needle.

I started screaming at them to put it down and ran over to them. I then apologised to them and their parents for shouting at them but they were just glad that I had stopped them.

"It's only a matter of time before a kid is infected by one as they all go in the same parts of the bushes.

"It's a disgrace and it's only going to get worse."

The resident said she reported sightings of needles to Stirling Council on a number of occasions in recent years.

She has also been in contact with Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford about the matter.

The council said from February 2018 to February 2019 it has received 73 reports of discarded needles.

A council spokesperson added: "Discarded needles in public areas are removed and disposed of as a priority on a 24/7 basis, and any sighting of them can be reported immediately via the contact centre."

Mr Crawford said: "I have raised this issue with Stirling Council, and it's crucial that the authority looks at what can be done to ensure that needles are cleaned up properly where they are found.

"People need support in order to properly tackle drug and alcohol addictions.

"I know that NHS Scotland and Police Scotland work with the council to provide support."

NHS Forth Valley say that the newly relocated Community Alcohol and Drug Service (CADS) clinic concentrates on harm reduction and does not offer any drugs paraphernalia.

A spokesperson added: "The needle exchange is run through community pharmacies and Signpost Recovery.

"Anyone finding drugs paraphernalia should contact their local authority to arrange for safe removal."

Anyone who discovers a needle or syringe is urged not to touch it and to report it to Stirling Council's contact centre by calling 01786 404040.

It's only a matter of time before a kid is infected by one as they all go in the same parts of the bushes. It's a disgrace St Ninians resident

CAPTION(S):

Relocation row Drug and alcohol treatment programme switched to St Ninians Health Centre from Stirling Community Hospital

Dumped Prescription bottle among medical-type rubbish thrown away at field

Concerns Resident told how her pet dog got a needle in its paw while being walked at football field
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Publication:Stirling Observer (Stirling, Scotland)
Date:Feb 20, 2019
Words:663
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