The Saskatchewan Health Authority is pleased to partner with the City of Yorkton, Fire and Protective Services and the Chamber of Commerce in promoting needle drop bins as part of a harm reduction strategy for the community.
“The SHA has implemented targeted harm reduction strategies to ensure our community is a safer place to live. Needle drop bins are one component of harm reduction strategies in place in our community. They offer a safe and convenient way to dispose of any used sharps device in the community,” said Dr. Ashok Chhetri, the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s Medical Health Officer for the Yorkton area. “Other harm reduction strategies to help people who use drugs do exist in Yorkton including the Opioid Substitution Treatment Program and Turning Points Needle Exchange Program, both of which link people to much needed services.”
“We all want our community to be the best place to live and safe for all. Working together to promote needle drop bins, educate the public and work with our residents will result in a safer community,” said Aaron Kienle, Yorkton City Councilor.
“Safety for all is our number one priority and we know that conveniently located needle drop bins and access to harm reduction programs will reduce risk for our community. As a part of the harm reduction strategies, we not only have a very effective needle distribution program, we now have three permanent needle drop bins located throughout Yorkton, two in Kamsack and one in Melville. As we continue to learn about our population and look at our data, it may reveal that the community will benefit from additional needle drop bins,” Chhetri said.
Studies show that that communities with needle distribution and recovery programs see a decline in risk and exposure to needle stick injuries because the number of needles improperly discarded are reduced. Harm reduction strategies implemented in communities result in increased safety for all residents and businesses.
In the 2019-20 provincial budget, $450,000 was dedicated to support harm reduction programs, bringing the total for harm reduction programming to $1.1 million annually. The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) currently provides various harm reduction programs across the province in more than 19 communities and in partnership with other agencies and communities.