Tayside Police is concerned about the number of recent deaths that may be related to use of illicit drugs.
Since January 1, Tayside has seen ten suspected drugs deaths, (nine in Dundee).
Detective Inspector Callum Leith, the Force’s Drugs Co-ordinator, said: “Whilst it is too early to say that these deaths are all drug related or are linked in some way, I would stress that the use of illicit drugs is harmful, will have a significant impact on health and can result in overdose and on occasions death.
“Those in the drug using community are aware of these dangers but often do not heed the warning signs or make full use of the varied and good support and advice that is available.”
Angie Guild, a specialist nurse at Tayside Harm Reduction Service said: “Naloxone can play a role in preventing death in substance misuse, especially if it is administered during the early stages of an opiate overdose.
“It is offered widely across Tayside as an aid to prevent drug related deaths amongst illicit opiate users. Naloxone provision along with brief training, is offered to those identified as being at risk of an opiate overdose and supplied by some NHS nurses.
“Naloxone can be accessed in Dundee at the Cairn Centre Needle Exchange during the drop-in clinics every Monday and Wednesday between 1pm and 4pm.
“In Perth and Kinross this can be accessed at the Harm Reduction drop-in clinics at Highland House every Tuesday between 1 pm and 2.30 pm and in Angus at the Harm Reduction drop-in clinics every first and third Friday afternoon of the month between 1.30 pm and 2.30 pm at Arbroath infirmary and every second and fourth Friday between 1.30 pm and 2.30 pm at Whitehills Health and Community Care Centre.”
Detective Inspector Leith added: “I would appeal to those involved in the drug using community to seek medical assistance and for opiate users to make use of the ‘take home’ Naloxone service.
“Also for all members of the public to provide any information they may have on drug dealing to the police or anonymously to telephone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 1111.”