DUBLIN drugs services have been put on high alert over fears that heroin used by drug-takers could be contaminated with anthrax.
The warning was issued by the HSE following the hospitalisation of a man in Scotland who was poisoned after he used heroin that contained the deadly substance.
The HSE was prompted to issue the warning as Scotland’s drug supply has been linked to Ireland in the past.
The NHS in Lanarkshire, Scotland, where the affected man is from, has advised drug users to abstain from using heroin.
They said that those who insist on taking the drug should smoke it instead of injecting it.
There have been no reported cases in Ireland since the warning was issued on July 25. However, a spokesperson for the HSE told the Southside People that they are keeping a close eye on the situation.
Between 2009-2012, over 100 heroin users in Scotland were poisoned by the same batch of the drug that was infected with anthrax. Fourteen people later died.
In 2000, eight heroin users in Ireland died after they injected heroin that was contaminated by a different bacterium.
It is thought that this latest batch of contaminated drugs has been imported from Afghanistan via Turkey, where it had been smuggled in containers which were disguised with infected goat-hide.
Source: Dublin People, 06/08/2011