Pubdate: Sat, 14 Oct 2017
Source: Expositor, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Brantford Expositor
Author: Vincent Ball
Page: A1


A plan to increase the availability of needle containers in the
community is being welcomed by some city residents.

"I think it's a good idea," said Tracey Bucci, of the Grand River
Environmental Group.

"It would help reduce the risk of innocent people and animals from
becoming infected by discarded needles. However, addiction issues do
still need to be addressed because that's the root of the problem."

Bucci and her group of volunteers led clean-up efforts this year aimed
at collecting used syringes in the area of Mohawk Lake.

Increasing the availability of sharps, or needle, containers is one of
more than 40 recommendations included in proposed drug strategy that
was presented this week to city councillors. The strategy was prepared
by a committee that included representation from a range of local
agencies. The strategy, which is planned to be formally launched in
November, calls for consultation with drug users to identify safe and
appropriate spaces for needle containers. It also suggests needle
disposal units be implemented in high traffic public spaces and calls
for a collaborative plan for timely needle retrieval.

and expanding the needle exchange program appears to have the support
of city residents.

Several residents and those associated with local community clean-up
programs are especially in favour of making sharps or needle
containers more readily available in the community.

The strategy also recommends safe injection sites and expanded hours
for the needle exchange program.

Several people commented on the topic by way of The Expositor's social
media page after a story about the city's drug strategy appeared online.

"Though I do not think this will help the huge drug problem we have in
the city, I do hope it at least gets some of it off the street. It is
disgusting how many piles of needles are being found everywhere now,"
Jacquie Wood said in a post.

"Safe injection sites will keep needles off the streets, river,
playground etc. People will use no matter what. So, why not have a
safe injection site to keep some needles off the street?" Ashley
Louise said in her post.

Brit Mitchell said she fond a used syringe earlier this week on
Marlborough Street.

"I saw a little boy playing on the way to school with his mother at
his side," she said. ""Little did they know they just walked passed
this needle in the grass. What if the next time I'm not around to
safely dispose of it?"

Marie Solo said she is sick of seeing "dirty needles

"Instead of clean needle exchange, safe needle programs or
meth(adone), clinics, how about a rehab centre? How about helping to
get the people clean?"

A rehab centre is part of the drug strategy. And St. Leonard's
Community Services has plans to have a new residential withdrawal
management and addiction treatment program operational in 2018.

Other ways of tackling the city's substance abuse problems include
increased access to holistic pain management, increased youth-focused
addictions counselling, as well as public education and awareness.

The strategy also recommends increased support for those experiencing
trauma or grief and increased mental health support for people in jail.
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