Discarded used needles an ongoing problem

Sharps containers to be placed in strategic areas of Mission.

Sharps containers will be placed at strategic locations around Mission in an attempt to prevent used needles from being carelessly thrown away or left on the ground.

Four locations – the West Coast Express station, Park Street and Fraser Crescent, the north end of the Mission Library parking lot, and an area near the Mission Museum – have been identified as hot spots for discarded needles and will receive the new containers.

“I think this is a step forward from the standpoint that we are moving towards more control on how needles are distributed,” said Mission Mayor Randy Hawes.

However, he said he does not feel satisfied with harm reduction efforts in the area.

“I an very much opposed to needle distribution where there is no bring back if you will. Needle exchange has to be exactly that,” he said.

He believes addicts should have to bring back the needles they are given, in order to receive new ones.

Hawes said there is a growing problem in Mission of discarded needles turning up in various areas of the community including school grounds.

“I am still not convinced that we are putting enough responsibility on those that are using needles.

“Harm reduction to me means let’s decrease the harm to the addicts at the expense of the community,” said Hawes.