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Needle disposal boxes essential in harm-reduction strategy

(MIRAMICHI) Aug. 13, 2019 - The City of Miramichi, AIDS New Brunswick and Horizon Public Health have partnered to improve public safety by placing needle disposal boxes throughout the city of Miramichi.

This harm-reduction strategy will improve public safety by ensuring access to the safe disposal of needles and limiting used needles on city streets and decreasing the dangers of a needle-stick injury.

Matt Smith, executive director of AIDS NB, said this strategy facilitates proper needle disposal in the community.

"Needle disposal initiatives have proven to reduce drug-related harms, prevent the re-use and sharing of needles, prevent needle stick injuries, and limit the number of discarded needles in communities," said Smith. "Not having proper disposal boxes can cause needles to be discarded in public places."

Based on data provided by the Miramichi Police Force, as they are responsible for the removal of needles found in the community, these boxes are strategically placed for people to dispose of their used needles. Boxes will be installed at the following locations: 

  • The corner of Hill and Wellington Streets, behind the bus shelter,
  • On Loggie Drive (Waterford Green) at the alley entry behind the Scott Bowes building,
  • Cole Crescent,
  • Call Street beside the Medicine Shoppe,
  • The corner of Edward and Petrie Streets, back near the trees, and
  • The Chatham Head entrance to the Morrissey Bridge.

Miramichi Mayor Adam Lordon said idea behind the installation of these needle disposal boxes is to ensure anyone who uses needles has access to safely dispose of them.

"We want to ensure our communities are safe. Anyone who uses needles, medically or non-medically, they will now be able to discard of their needles safely," said Lordon. "With options for disposal across the city, we can reduce the number of needles being found in public places."

Jean Daigle, VP of Community for Horizon Health Network, said many communities across New Brunswick are initiating harm-reduction strategies to create and sustain healthier communities, noting Saint John has already implemented strategy, and Fredericton is working on one as well.

"By reducing the number of discarded needles on the street, we can reduce the chances of a person - or child - being stuck with a needle," said Daigle. "This is just another tool Horizon and its community partners have for our mission of helping people be healthy."

Anyone who finds a discarded needle in the city of Miramichi, is asked to please call the Miramichi Police Force at 623-2124 to have an officer remove it safely. 


For more information contact:

Matthew Smith
Executive Director AIDS NB

Mayor Adam Lordon
City of Miramichi

Emely Poitras
Horizon Health Network Media Relations

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