May 18th, 2024

Needle debris a prickly problem

By Lethbridge Herald on September 19, 2020.

The ARCHES-run supervised consumption site is closed, and needle debris continues to be a concern in the city.

Many in the community suggested the problem might go away once the SCS closed, and there is no doubt ARCHES in its earlier incarnations was distributing large quantities of clean needles to local drug users to prevent the spread of disease. This added to the problem, but report after report produced in the past two years suggested drug users were getting many of their needles from the dealers themselves even as clean-needle distribution was drastically curtailed.

When the City instituted its Clean Sweep program the needle debris numbers went noticeably down in the downtown area, but the concern expressed by local officials when the SCS closed was the problem would spread to other areas of the city where it had been fairly centralized before.

That is obviously not a reason to keep the Supervised Consumption Site open given the other issues with the former site, but it is now incumbent on both provincial public health officials and municipal organizations to pick up the slack on the problem of improperly disposed needles and other drug debris.

It is also incumbent on local residents to not get complacent on the issue. Local schools and daycares continue to sweep their grounds daily for discarded needles. City staff keep an eye on public parks and streets. But obviously school monitors and City employees can’t be everywhere, and parents must also keep a good eye out when bringing children into public areas.

If you find a needle, the pick-up hotline number has not changed. It’s 403-332-0722.

By working together as a community, we can continue to help keep everyone safe. And if you see a needle, don’t just walk by and think it is somebody else’s problem, because that puts everybody at risk.

Call the hotline. Or if you have a safe collection capability and sharps box nearby, pick it up and have it disposed of properly.

Public health is everyone’s responsibility, and it is important for us to be active and engaged citizens to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

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Citi Zen

Easy solution, vote the NDP back in again, they will instantly re-open the SCS.


Now that addiction has been eliminated from Lethbridge with the closing of the SCS, perhaps our rattlepated trio on Council can eliminate needles from the public domain by shutting down Clean Sweep.


Somebody got a dictionary for their birthday! 🙂
Oh yea, moronic comment.

Southern Albertan

Again, and particularly with regard to promoting the decreasing of drug crime, a number of things has to happen at the same time. They include safe consumption sites, the treatment infrastructure to back it up and…..the decriminalization of the possession of drugs which enables folks to seek help without fear of backlash due to possession. Things in Portugal might not be perfect, but they certainly appear to be the gold standard in the world for what successfully surrounds resolving the issues involved with drug addiction. Now, we have resistance to decriminalizing the possession of drugs including the Trudeau Liberals. Until this all happens, we can count on the foibles of drug addiction including hundreds/thousands of deaths, to continue, let alone drug-related crime.


Portugal has decriminalized much drug use but do not think for a moment they support or subsidize drug use. You use, get caught and get enrolled in a mandatory moniterred drug rehab program you must attend. You do not get a party kit or cut loose with debilitating drugs like ARCHES did. Pethaps you could show some proof for you final conjectures that decriminalizing powerful drugs is anything but asinine and irresponsible.


great replies from fes and so.ab.
citi the typical nothing…must really suck being citi’s keyboard; by now, a key-bored.
what stands in the way of legal drugs is the depth to which the masses have digested generations of lies and utter garbage around drugs… all the while guzzling down tons of liquor, which studies have proven is – by far – the single worst health/social/financial cost to societies. however, as with alcohol – and all things, really – the vast majority of drug users do so with control and responsibility.
if the brainwashed, that have so deeply swallowed the rubbish propaganda dosed to us all over the generations by the likes of govt and police and nefarious govt agencies, could just acknowledge that legal drugs would greatly reduce crime, costs related to criminal enforcement, jail, prosecution, incarceration, and social and health costs…we would have legal drugs that are affordable and far safer (like alcohol), resulting in healthier and safer communities.
recall the lie instilled belief that cannabis is a gateway drug: not only should have a quarter to a third of the population long been addicted to heroin before legalisation, an even larger chunk would be so addicted now. you fools know who you are – if you have the honesty to acknowledge you were played as a fool. You stand in the way of legalisation – and in support of human rights violations. in fact, to support criminalisation of drugs one underwrites an awful lot more misery than not.

Last edited 3 years ago by biff
Citi Zen

I suspect someone is selling you some bad drugs


haha! and yet, everything i wrote from the 3rd sentence onward is on the mark. show it to be otherwise.


biff what happened to your grammar and punctuation? Indecipherable – no idea if you had good points.


i tell you what: reread the entry. when you get to the commas, pause, then continue. inside the dashes you will find heightened points that are, generally, apart from the sentence flow.
however, i get it that you are among the most severely brainwashed by drug propaganda, such that you can neither see reason nor how drug laws have caused far more harm than good to societies; moreover, that they are an infringement on the fundamental right to being the sole arbiter of one’s body (and here you whine about masks being a violation).
given that your entries in this forum demonstrate a strong preference toward using your hyper-judgementalism as a basis for forcing your preferences upon all others, you are unlikely to see the light on many things that are contrary to your narrow comfort zone.
nevertheless, see if you can refute what i have written on the topic of legalisation of drugs.

Last edited 3 years ago by biff

The needle supply will eventually dry up if ARCHES does not exist to hand them out. Despite the article’s misleading wording, the dealers distributed needles they got from ARCHES via users, not the other way around. Users exited the SDCS with party paks and traded them to dealers sitting outside for loaded needles they shared with other users. They cared not a jot for a clean needle. Despite bif’s hilariously sad assertion the majority of drug addicts “do so with control and responsibility”.


You have quite the imagination, R. I wonder if you are ‘for’ anything beyond some vague notion of ‘freedom’?
Maybe your ‘freedom’ can include a freedom from the ravages of addiction, or poverty, or abuse. But that would require some inclusive concept like ‘community’.
(I tried to keep the language simple for Ragnar)