Discarded Hypodermic Needles are Still a Major Problem

September 22, 2017
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City’s statistics clearly indicate that in the course of the year, the Mobile Sharps Team has collected 20,000 discarded hypodermic needles from parks, alleys, playgrounds and libraries in every neighborhood.

While the city’s team is doing the best they can under the circumstances, it’s clear that more of an effort and funding is needed to stop the problem.

This has become a dangerous situation and a potential health problem. Anyone, children, teens or adults could pick up a discarded needle, get pricked and become ill.

Obviously, more needles will be tossed away at these locations basically every day as the drug use problem continues to escalate with no real sign of stopping. It has become a huge epidemic problem with no relief in sight.

A Boston City Council Ordinance, filed by At-Large City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George could help with the discarded needle problem.

The Ordinance, as it is currently written, requires pharmacies to accept used needles for free disposal, require that they have written instructions on how to safely get rid of them, asked pharmacies to inventory the needles they collect and provide that information to the City of Boston. The bill directs revenue from the fines levied to the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services.

It’s a step in the right direction helping to resolve the problem but if there is no real enforcement, it won’t make a difference.