HEROIN addicts are getting free "one hit kits" packed with syringes, spoons and drug taking equipment from chemists Boots.
The move has triggered fury from anti-drug campaigners.
But health chiefs say the packs will ease the spread of hepatitis C in the west of Scotland.
The One Hit Kits, available at 85 sites in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, contain dozens of needles, "cooking-up" spoons, swabs and citric acid to prepare heroin.
But Helen Mackenzie, secretary of the Families United Support Group, said it was, "like giving 200 cigarettes to someone who was trying to give up smoking".
Helen, 59, added: "These kits are a disgrace. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw them.
"The people who decided to introduce this initiative obviously have no idea what it is like to see their son or daughter dying from heroin addiction.
"How can they have a health warning on a pack of cigarettes but not on this - full of syringes and drug taking material? These kits have every single thing an addict needs except the heroin.
"They are making it too easy for these addicts. The pack has the jazzy name 'One Hit Kit' and some of the packaging suggests this is aimed at younger people.
"This type of thing encourages a new generation of drug addicts. It is capitalising on pain and addiction. I am disgusted that this kind of thing could be available free to people."
Last night, NHS Greater Glasgow defended the kits, which were introduced in February.
Carole Hunter, lead pharmacist in the Addictions Partnership, said: "There are more than 50,000 people with hepatitis C across Scotland and 95 per cent became infected through injecting drug use.
"Needle exchange has been hugely effective in reducing HIV cross-infection and the One Hit Kits are designed to deliver similar reductions in the spread of hepatitis C."
Paul Bennet, standards director for Boots, added: "This service takes a harm reduction approach to drug use and aims to reduce the transmission of blood-borne viruses."
By Steven Stewart
Source - http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/2...s-get-one-hit-kits-from-boots-86908-21472839/