PARENTS in Galashiels have expressed their anger after a heroin kit was found in a communal stair well.

Throughout this year more and more residents have hit out at the amount of discarded syringes and other drug paraphernalia discovered on the streets of the town.

Last week a mother of young children found the “one hit kit” outside her home at Gala Park.

The package contained a syringe, a spoon and other equipment used for injecting.

And the woman, who didn’t want to be named, says she is at the end of her tether after a number of other drug-related items were found nearby over the last few months.

She told the Border Telegraph: “I think it’s disgusting, and it’s getting worse.

"A child could have come across it.

"You can tell young kids not to touch things, but they’ll still go and do it if they’re not sure what something is.

“This isn’t the first time these sorts of things have been found around here - needles were found a couple of months ago."

As well as Gala Park, needles have been found in the Glendinning area, as well as a wrap of heroin, and also in Langlee.

Scottish Borders Council does provide a service for collecting 'sharps' such as syringes.

But residents believe a lot more should be done to prevent the dangerous needles being discarded.

The mum added: "We have been in touch with the council and they just pass us to the police.

"And when we contact the police, they send us back to the council.

“Nobody wants to know.

“We have done a bit of research to try and find out where the packs have come from, and they are being given out by chemists.

“We also saw that you can get a hold of them online.”

Injecting Equipment Provision was introduced across Scotland in an effort to prevent the spread of hepatitis and other diseases associated with shared syringes.

The Borders has one of the highest number of dispensing outlets per head of population in the entire country - beaten only by Highland in the latest available figures.

Almost all of the outlets in the region (88 per cent) are pharmacist's.

While the service has reduced the the spread of hepatitis and allowed health chiefs to monitor drug usage, the distribution of syringes has also caused concern within communities.

Another Gala Park parent told us: “Loads of kids play out in this area and any of them could have easily picked this kit up.

"What kind of message do these kits send out to children?

"It's dangerous and shouldn't just be handed out."

Scottish Borders Council and NHS Borders do offer a disposal service to all users of the programme as well as injecting equipment.

Dr Tim Patterson, Joint Director of Public Health at NHS Borders and Scottish Borders Council told us: "The reduction of harm due to substance misuse is a priority within the Scottish Borders.

"The aim of supplying injecting equipment is to prevent the transmission of blood borne diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C. Evidence shows this is effective at reducing blood borne diseases and risk behaviours amongst injecting drug users.

"Injecting Equipment Providers (IEPs) provide single use supply kits as well as offering safe disposal of equipment.

"Service users are given clear guidelines on how to use and dispose of equipment responsibly."

Anyone who does discover a needle/syringe should not touch the item and call 0300 100 1800 (during office hours) choosing option 5, and Scottish Borders Council officers will dispose of the item(s) safely.

If out with office hours Police Scotland should be called on 101.