THIS was the stash of dangerous drugs washed up on a St Annes beach.
Shocked Ann DeRizzio found 26 packets of the powerful painkiller Codeine as she walked her dog.
And the mum-of-two says she dreads to think what would have happened if they had ended up in the hands of children.
Mrs DeRizzio stumbled upon the drugs on the beach behind Fairhaven Lake.
She phoned the police and Environmental Health and was told to take the drugs to a pharmacy.
Mrs DeRizzio, of Lightburne Avenue, St Annes, admitted she couldn’t believe her eyes when she discovered the haul.
She said: “I was out walking the dog with my friend at about 9.30am on Saturday when I noticed one packet.
“Then we had a look round and found another 25 of them.
“They had obviously been washed in on the tide and they were just lying there for anybody to pick up.
“I was stunned because I’ve walked that same route hundreds of times and I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
Codeine is routinely prescribed by doctors to treat pain, and is also used in the treatment of a variety of bowel conditions.
But it can be used as a recreational drug and an overdose can be fatal.
Mrs DeRizzio, who has two sons, added: “It is quite shocking because how dangerous would it have been had a child walked past and picked them up or taken one?
“It doesn’t bear thinking about and I am glad I was the person who found them.”
Coun Cheryl Little, cabinet member for health and well being on Fylde Council, said she hoped it was a one-off and not anything more sinister.
She said: “No-one knows where it came from but hopefully it was just one of those things and there isn’t anything suspect about it.
“It isn’t nice though, especially as a child could have stumbled upon it.
“If anybody does find anything like that then I would urge them to take it to the police station immediately and report it.”
Dr John Astbury, from the Health Protection Agency, said: “Codeine is not a controlled drug but it is given out on prescription.
“It is a narcotic from the same group as heroin and is to be used with caution.
“They are dangerous if taken to excess and if mixed with alcohol could be fatal.
“If someone finds tablets like these they should be taken to a pharmacy where they can be disposed of properly.”