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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 12:45 GMT 13:45 UK
Move to protect against needles
Drug users sharing needles are at risk of blood infections
A campaign to help protect the public from the danger of discarded needles has been launched in Dundee.

Leaflets and posters giving advice are being distributed in the city.

The sceheme was launched in response to the health risk posed by needles discarded by drug users, who could be infected with conditions such as HIV.

The awareness campaign has been set up by several organisations, including Tayside Police, Dundee City Council and the local community safety partnership.

Tayside Police Sergeant Stewart Forsyth said the council already has a service to dispose of syringes but officers were still receiving calls reporting them.

He said: "Hypodermic needles recklessly discarded by drug users can pose a potential threat to children or anyone else unfortunate enough to come into contact with them.

"Drug users who share needles are at high risk of developing blood-borne infections such as Hepatitis B and C and HIV."

Never touch or pick up needles or syringes
Never suck or scrub a needle wound
Gently squeeze the skin surrounding the wound to promote bleeding
Wash the area with plenty of soap and water
Seek medical treatment

Sgt Forsyth said drugs are sometimes used in public areas, adding: "The consequences of getting jabbed by one of these needles could therefore be extremely serious.

"At the very least it would involve undergoing a series of blood tests to check that no infection has taken place."

''That is why we have launched these information posters and leaflets so that people know exactly what they should do if they find discarded needles, and what they should do in the event that they are injured by one."

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