Partners clean up used needles
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star
Action is being taken to ensure all Vernonites are safe from drug-related hazards.
The Partners In Action — which includes a number of agencies — has been moving ahead with its recovery of hypodermic needles.
“In the past 12 months, we’ve recovered 54,000 needles,” said Annette Sharkey, co-ordinator.
And Sharkey believes that many needles have been collected because addicts are given options to get rid of them.
“They are bringing those needles forward instead of leaving them around (on the street),” she said, adding that addicts are aware of the risks around old needles.
“Many of them have children of their own.”
A drop box for needles has been installed at the library.
“It’s safer for the staff cleaning the washrooms there,” said Sharkey.
Through a harm reduction strategy, Partners In Action is also tackling a number of other issues including connecting homeless campers to support services, linking people discharged from the hospital to services and considering installation of public toilets.
The goal of the strategy is to keep people safe and to minimize death, disease or injury from high-risk behaviour.
Partners In Action will hold a public open house on the harm reduction strategy April 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Schubert Centre.
“We’re looking for people to join in,” said Sharkey of the various activities.