Peterborough Public Health has announced there are now more needle drop boxes available in downtown Peterborough as part of a coordinated effort by several local health agencies and the City’s Public Works Division to increase community safety.
Four new boxes have been installed, one behind the Peterborough Library, one along the Millennium Trail (see picture), another on the eastern side of the Otonabee River near the train bridge, and a fourth in front of the One Roof program located at St John’s Anglican Church at 99 Brock St.
These new boxes are in addition to the public needle boxes already installed in front of the Canadian Mental Health Association – Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge (CMHA-HKPR) office at 466 George St. office, and the Fire Station at 210 Sherbrooke St.
Photo by Evan Holt, PTBOCanada
The initiative to expand the needle drop box program is a partnership of the PARN – Your Community AIDS Resource Network, Peterborough Public Health (PPH), CMHA-HKPR and the City of Peterborough.
“Needle exchange programs are a proven harm reduction initiative that decrease the spread of illness and connect people who use drugs with health professionals,” says Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health with Peterborough Public Health. “We are pleased to see our community rally like this to promote safe needle disposal as we need to work together to support those struggling with addiction issues while keeping our community safe.”
On average, 400,000 to 450,000 needles are distributed by PARN each year to local residents. This past year, approximately 90 percent of these needles have been returned to community agencies and pharmacies.
“Our experience tells us that people who use injection drugs want to dispose of their supplies safely,” says Kim Dolan, Executive Director at PARN. “Hundreds of people come through the doors of our agency every year to return used syringes. By placing these boxes at various points in the city, we will provide more options for people to return their used equipment and further reduce the instances when needles are found in public spaces.”
If you find a used needle on public property, contact the Public Works Department of the City of Peterborough (705-745-1386) or the OPP (705-742-0401) in the County of Peterborough.