Shock after young child finds bag of drugs in street
Police have hit out at "death-dealers" after a young child picked up a bag of drugs lying on a Co Armagh street.
The small plastic bag printed with what appear to be black scorpions was found yesterday morning in Lurgan.
It contained a white substance, though it's not clear what type of drug it is.
A DUP councillor for the area, Philip Moutray, described the discovery as "worrying".
The drugs, which were found in the Sloan Street/Hill Street area of the town, were recovered by police. A PSNI officer posted an image on Facebook of the plastic bag of drugs and wrote: "After a couple of days off it is not a happy start back.
"This is the reality of drug use. All too often, some people - although fewer these days thankfully - have a pop at police for 'wasting time' with drugs.
"They complain that this stuff isn't legalised. I wonder if this photo had included the young child that picked it up off the ground in the Sloan Street/Hill Street area of Lurgan this morning, would they be so quick to criticise?
"I also wonder if legalising it would make it less harmful to the child if they had swallowed it? Obviously, it wouldn't."
The officer welcomed the blanket ban on the so-called legal highs which came into force yesterday.
Laws criminalising the production, distribution, sale and supply of what are otherwise known as novel psychoactive substances began at midnight.
The officer said: "It is not something that affects only those that take it.
"It is not something we will tolerate. Just this week, nine people were hospitalised in one town alone in England having taken these 'legal highs'.
"One in a coma, one with cardiac arrest. That isn't 'just a personal thing'. The heartbreak of families, the extra needless stress on the NHS, all because of drugs.
"Don't be swayed by the 'it's just personal, it's fine' argument. That's a lie. This stuff here may have been personal use, but it also could have killed a child.
"Stay safe out there, and give us a call if you can help. #DeathDealers."
Mr Moutray said he was shocked at the discovery.
"It's not something I would expect to be found but I would encourage the residents to be very vigilant in that area," he said.
"It's something that needs to be eradicated from our society completely and anyone with information on drug dealing in that area should contact the PSNI. The Hill Street area is very close to a primary school and I'm sure it's a shock to all the residents that a child found this and it's something that should never happen. This is very worrying and is certainly not welcome in our area.
"I welcome the change in law in regards to legal highs and I believe it will be a good thing for society. Drugs are a growing issue with young adults and teenagers and I think everyone should be aware of the dangers and hopefully the change in legislation will highlight the dangers of these drugs.
"These drugs cause serious illness and it will leave families devastated."