DOZENS of potentially deadly 'hippy crack' canisters have been discovered in Dunfermline.

A pile of laughing gas canisters that people can use to get high were found next to Pitreavie Athletics Centre.

They contain nitrous oxide gas, commonly referred to as 'hippy crack'.

Inhaling can give users a temporary high but can have tragic long-term health impacts and, in some cases, death.

Volunteers from Fife Street Champions posted the shocking find online on Saturday March 27 while cleaning up litter in the area.

A spokesperson for the group told the Press that the discovery was sadly not uncommon.

They said: "We find these all over Fife and it's certainly not unique to Dunfermline.

"You'll be aware that kids these days are quite happy to go into the woods with a big carry-out. They'll sit and drink that and light a few fires as well, and we do find a lot of these canisters lying around.

"This is nowhere near an isolated incident.

"When we first started to find them, we didn't really know what they were. Once we found out, we weren't at all surprised.

"People have been sniffing cans of antiperspirant for years; they were sniffing glue when I was younger.

"It's nothing new but this is the 'next high' if you like."

The group says the canisters are one of many items found commonly in Dunfermline and surrounding areas.

"We find cans, bottles and stuff like that all the time but you wouldn't believe the amount of underwear we find in places," they revealed.

"There's more knickers in the woods than in Marks & Spencer.

"We find bags and bottles filled with human waste; dead animals; a microwave oven; we find everything that's been flung away."

Safer Communities Fife issued a warning on Facebook that abusing the canisters could lead to fatalities.

A spokesperson said: "Inhaling nitrous oxide directly from the canister is very dangerous – it can cause spasm of the throat muscle and prevent breathing. People have died this way.

"Please, if you can, help educate those you know on the dangers – it may seem like fun and games but it is very dangerous."

An earlier post from the page stated: "It is important to recognise that nitrous oxide is classed as a dissociative, which basically means users can feel detached from reality.

"This can lead to people putting themselves in harmful situations which normally they wouldn't.

"This poses a significant risk to young people, who may be using while gathered together in remote locations which make it difficult to access help quickly.

"Diseases can be transferred between users if they share the same balloons or canisters – an issue which is very pertinent just now with the risk of COVID-19."