As states grapple with rising opioid abuse, needles left in parks and city sidewalks are becoming a bigger problem.
Providence Police say they’ve been receiving more calls from residents reporting needles left on the ground.
They’re working with the AIDS Care Ocean State needle exchange program to clean up the needles, which can be contaminated with viruses like HIV and Hepatitis C. Needle exchange organizers say they collect more than 5,000 needles every month from a variety of sources.
AIDS Care Ocean State Supervisor Raynald Joseph said secure drop-boxes where anyone can leave needles might also help alleviate the problem.
Officials in Massachusetts and New Hampshire have reported similar problems.