Task Force Considers Needle Exchange Deposit Box at Richmond Park and Ride

RICHMOND, VT - You might see needle exchange drop boxes popping up around Richmond and just off the highway.


The town's Selectboard has given the OK to install the boxes.
 

Richmond's opiate task force had held a needle exchange at the Richmond Rescue station in one of their ambulances.
 

But it didn't quite catch on.
 

"I think it wasn't working for the 6 week period that they were doing it because a drug addict isn't going to want to come openly and say, here's this, and give me this," says Linda Donovan.
 

Donovan is on the task force and is also the co-owner of Richmond convenient store, Lucky Spot, which has been a target of past break-ins.
 

"We had a break-in that was heroin based, trying to feed the addiction."
 

Donovan is trying to end the heroin trend. She's pushing to put syringe deposit boxes in strategic locations.


"The Selectboard approved us putting safe needle drop boxes throughout the town where we saw fit, and where we see fit are areas where needles are being found often."
 

One site being looked at for the needle exchange is the park and ride right in Richmond.
 

"But I was told today it should only take about a week to get the permits in place."
 

Donovan says they're meeting with state reps including the Agency of Transportation to look at potential spots within the park and ride for a deposit box.


"The harm reduction model is to say, we acknowledge people use needles, they don't always dispose of them properly, so let’s allow them to get clean needles,” says Dr. Richmond Bernstein.


While some argue providing addicts with clean needles feeds the addiction, advanced EMT Richard Bernstein says the exchange is a giant step forward in keeping the entire community safe.

 

"The needle exchange is a person with an addiction bringing his or her dirty needles and they're given fresh needles to use, so they are not transmitting other diseases and they become less of a risk to the community," says Dr. Bernstein.
 

The opiate task force is using an $8,000 grant from the Health Department to help fund the needle exchange program.


More Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center