Letter to the editor: Disposing of dirty needles

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Disposing of dirty needles

My name is Billie-Jean I'm a 24 year old female that lives in Bennington Vermont. Over the last couple of years drug addicts have been leaving their dirty needles on the streets where kids play, walk, and live. In fact I have been out for a walk, and have had at least three kids that didn't even know me, ask me to go over to them to pick up dirty needles for them because I was the closest adult. By the drug addicts doing this they are putting the kids in danger of diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. I feel if you choose to do drugs then that's your choice, but we as a community need to come together and protect our children from the diseases that are being spread around town, and the drug culture itself.

I personally feel that we could get our community together on getting needle dispensers around town, in closed areas that addicts feel safe bringing them there like gas stations bathrooms or in stores, like the pharmacy. In order to do something like this we would need others from those locations to help with this. We could get a few licensed nurses to come around to the places and empty the dispensers because most people may not want to touch those things. We could even get a couple of police officers to even empty the dispensers.

There are some cons to this as well. People could think we are promoting people in the community to use drugs, but really that's not what we want. However I'm mainly looking out for our children around here because they could get their lives taken from them at a young age if they get ahold of those dirty needles and get poked from them. They could get HIV, Hepatitis B, or Hepatitis C.

We have one of the lowest rates of those diseases in the country, and we should help keep it that way. I spoke to a nurse from the Department of Health. She told me it's hard to give me a direct number for those diseases due to the fact we have people from the drug train coming and going from Bennington, Massachusetts, and New York. I also learned by talking to this nurse that not all drug addicts choose to get tested. I feel no matter if you use drugs or just changing partners you should always get tested. Protect our community.

We as a community need to protect our children, and ourselves. No kids should have to lose their lives before they really understand what goes on around them, and where they live.

Even adults shouldn't have to go through with finding out that they have HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. That's why I really feel we could use the needle disposal around to eliminate the drug culture. I hope this helps, and our community comes together and cleans our state and city up.

— Billie-Jean Reynolds Bennington


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