Establishment of a sharps bin in the city center

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A community sharps bin has been installed at the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area.

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The bin was installed through a partnership between the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit and the AIDS Committee.

In a press release Wednesday, the health unit said that when used sharps are disposed of improperly, such as in the recycling, garbage or in a public place, it’s often the result of not having a place to dispose of it properly.

“Providing a place where people can safely dispose of sharp objects helps keep the community safer for everyone,” the health unit said in the statement.

The community sharps bin at 147 McIntyre St. W., Suite 102, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Only loose sharp objects, such as needles or sharp objects in a puncture-proof container should be placed in the trash. Trash and other substance use equipment should be disposed of in the trash can located near the sharps bin.

“ACNBA is thrilled to have a new Community Sharps Disposal Bin installed outside of our agency,” said Caitlin Dobratz, Community Hepatitis C Coordinator with ACNBA.

“This bin will help raise awareness about how to dispose of used syringes safely in the community, while providing additional opportunities for harm reduction education and support.”

“This bin also helps reduce the stigma often associated with substance use and will help reduce the risk of needlestick injuries. It will also help prevent the transmission of infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C, helping to keep people safe and healthy.

Community health promoter Katharine O’Connell said the reasons people use substances “are complex.

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“Genetics, an individual’s mental health, social, physical and economic conditions, as well as negative childhood experiences and trauma are all factors that can contribute to substance use.”

In addition to providing harm reduction services, the health unit works with community partners to address the social determinants of health that influence substance use and to reduce barriers to accessing health services.

Harm reduction services, such as distribution of safer substance use equipment and sharps drop off, will still be available in North Bay at the Health Unit, ACNBA, Ontario Treatment Center substance abuse and other places in the community.

Harm reduction services aim to build relationships with individuals with the aim of restoring human dignity.