ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The opioid crisis has left few communities untouched. But Trillium Health is hoping to do its part by adding more safe needle disposal kiosks. It’s an effort to prevent overdoses and reduce viral infections.
Since it was launched last year, officials say they’ve seen hundreds of used syringes disposed properly at these kiosks.
“It’s not comfortable to walk through an area and see discarded syringes on the ground. To keep the area safe, we don’t want anyone getting stuck unintentionally. We don’t want individuals reusing or sharing needles either. It’s a public health approach,” said Julie Ritzler-Shelling, Trillium’s Director of Community Health Initiatives.
According to Trillium Health, since the installation of the kiosks, they’ve collected between 700 to 800 syringes per month. Especially from their North Clinton Avenue location.
A public health approach they say will not only help reduce the number of drug overdoses but prevent viral diseases.
“Can lead to infectious disease transmission, basically. HIV infection and Hepatitis C infection are spread very easily if needles are shared. That could be someone sharing from one partner to another, or someone picking something up from the ground and then using it to inject a substance,” said Ritzler-Shelling.
For Rocco Stagnitto, whose sons died of a drug overdose, supports the idea. He says the kiosks will make a difference, but believes advocates should still strongly encourage users to use a syringe exchange program.
“Anything that keeps needles out of the reach of little kids or people accidentally getting you know injured by them, I think it’s an awesome idea,” said Stagnitto. “I think they would have left it that way where you had to bring in needles to get needles if they would have done that, the addicts would return them and they wouldn’t throw them all over the place in the first place.”
Trillium Health says the installation of the kiosks play a valuable role and part of a solution in fighting the community-wide drug crisis affecting so many families and community members.
- Trillium Health 416 Central Avenue
- Trillium Health 259 Monroe Avenue
- Chester’s Check Cashing 882 N. Clinton Ave.
- Advance Auto Zone 1028 N. Clinton Ave.
- Geneva Police Department Headquarters Vestibule
And soon to be installed:
- Hudson Liquor 1374 Hudson Ave.
- Loweke Park 485 Lyell Ave.
For more information, visit this website.