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I found a needle in my backyard, what should I do?

Injection needles are used by a wide range of people including those living with diabetes, other health conditions or injecting illicit substances. Finding one in your backyard can trigger fear or anxiety, but there are safe ways to deal with it without stigmatizing people, so we’re glad you asked.

It is important to treat all needles or drug equipment as contaminated, however merely touching a needle with intact skin does not pose a risk. Since discarded needles have the potential to spread infections such as hepatitis B, C and HIV, it is important to handle them safely. Here are some recommended steps in safely removing them.

When needles are discarded in a public place, it is often a result of not having a safe disposal nearby. People do not intend to harm others by discarding used needles, but rather need an easy way to dispose of them safely. Needle distribution programs which hand out sterile needles and other harm reduction supplies play a key role in safe needle disposal.There are several places across Manitoba where people can access safer drug supplies including sharps disposal containers.