Thursday, October 6, 2022

Six year old Lethbridge boy pricked by discarded needle at south side park

A Lethbridge woman maintains there still isn’t enough being done to prevent drug debris from littering public spaces.

Janessa Fyfe tells she’s frustrated needles are cast aside wherever the user decides only to become a danger to innocent children.

She’s voicing concerns after her six year old son was pricked by a syringe last month while playing at Sequoia Park on the south side. She says he was at the park with his daycare provider and was poked by a needle when he moved a pile of debris to follow a spider.

The Executive Director of ARCHES, Stacey Bourque, says it’s devastating to hear the news, saying “most of us here are also parents of young children so nobody ever wants to hear something like that happening.

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However, she says ARCHES as an organization “cannot control human behaviour in the community” and they’re doing the very best they can to pick up needles, ensure distributed needles are returned and reduce distribution rates.

Bourque says for much of the past year, needle return rates have exceeded distribution rates meaning users are getting syringes from a number of other places besides the Harm Reduction Supply Distribution Program, which has been operating since 2001.

She also says since the Supervised Consumption Site opened, needle distribution rates have decreased 70% and return rates have increased 83%.

Fyfe says she took her son for blood tests and the first of three Hepatitis shots he’ll need to receive and says all they can do now is wait to see if something develops.

She says it’s an extremely stressful situation for her family.

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