Secure sharps kiosks will be installed in February at the Haldimand-Norfork Health Unit’s (HNHU) three office locations: 282 Argyle St. S., Caledonia; 117 Forest St. E. Dunnville and12 Gilbertson Drive, Simcoe
Community members use needles/sharps for many reasons, says HNHU, including medical ones. There is a need for 24-hour public access to safe places to dispose of them. The sharps kiosks will be securely mounted in a highly visible area on the exterior of each building. They include a large chute to ensure all needles, syringes and containers are deposited without the ability to be retrieved.
“The provision of safe and secure sharps disposal units has proven effective in other communities to reduce the number of needles discarded in public spaces,” said Tamara Robb, public health nurse.
“The secure sharps kiosks will keep our communities safe by reducing the risk of needle-stick injuries and ensuring that people can access the kiosks without barriers. This is an important step in helping our communities to be safer.”
The sharps kiosks have been rolled out in the community thanks to funding the HNHU Harm Reduction Program receives from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The funding covers the cost of the bins and installation, as well as associated disposal costs.
The sharps kiosks are just one of the harm reduction strategies the HNHU offers. “We also operate a needle exchange program, said Robb. “Individuals can access clean and sterile drug using equipment to reduce the harms associated with injection drug use.”
At the end of 2017, the HNHU also began distributing Naloxone nasal spray to individuals at risk of opioid overdose and concerned friends or family members. Naloxone is a medication that temporarily reverses an opioid-related overdose.
For more information about the HNHU’s Harm Reduction Program, please visit hnhu.org