Finding one or two used needles on the busy streets of Vancouver is sometimes unavoidable. However, recently, a local found a box with hundreds of used needles in a parking lot in Vancouver. The person has since posted the picture of his discovery on the Internet and people are frustrated for several reasons.
The picture was uploaded on Reddit Vancouver and, according to the post, was found at Easy Park in Hastings and Abbott. In the photo, you can see a large box completely filled with used needles; some are capped and others are not.
Saline water containers and tourniquets are also seen on the ground next to the box. Since the picture was posted on Reddit on yesterday on May 22, 2019, people have been expressing their frustrations.
Many social media users are not surprised that this was found. One person even said that this was “so Vancouver.” Others have expressed their own needles discoveries, saying this is by far the first time it has happened.
With over 170 comments on the post, some people are blaming the drug addicts for this problem. A majority of people are discussing how something like this could happen.
See the Reddit post and comments below.
One Reddit user suggested that someone had robbed a safe injection site. Reddit user DilorSCR stated that addicts will sometimes steal boxes of syringes from safe injection sites with the hopes of finding remaining drugs in the syringes.
If this is true, people are extremely concerned that there is not enough security at safe injection sites to catch incidents like this.
Many users are stating that there are not enough places to dispose of needles. People are pointing out that this is not the first time this has happened in the area, and by installing medical waste and sharps bins, some of the mess could be cleared.
Many commenters are standing up for the addicts, stating that it is not their fault and that mental health and addiction is a serious and complex topic.
One user offered a suggestion on how to avoid incidents like this from happening in the future. According to the comment, they are suggesting a needle buyback program that would give 10 cents for each needle collected.
An idea like this was once tested in Kamloops by a local woman. One woman began a needle buyback program by using money out of her own pocket. By doing this, one person brought in over 450 needles from a homeless camp. Despite the positive impact, she received backlash from members of the community including city council.
This is not the first time needles have been found in Vancouver in public places. Just yesterday, another Reddit user posted a picture of a used needle found stuck in a tree trunk.
Reddit users were quick to point out that if you see a needle in the street, to call 311.
Narcity spoke with Evergreen Community Health Centre, a harm reduction and needle exchange facility in Vancouver, about needle exchange policy. According to the centre, anyone who comes in can get as many needles as they wish; no questions asked.
Needle exchange facilities like Evergreen also take in used needles. According to Evergreen, needle exchange places around Vancouver do not have a limit on how many needles can be brought back at any given time.
You can find out more about the needle exchange and harm reaction facilities in Vancouver on Vancouver Coastal Health's website.