Issue of finding used syringes in communities continues

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FLOYD CO., Ky. (WYMT) - A reflection of just how out of hand the drug epidemic is here in the mountains. Used syringes found from city parks to neighbors yards.

Martha Ellis, who oversees the Floyd County Syringe Exchange Program says, "as the drug problem increases and will continue to grow, um, we will see those needles out there."

Deputy Justin Szymchack with The Floyd County Sheriff's Department tells us they were recently called out to a home in Martin for that very problem.

"We went out to the residence and ended up collecting thirty-seven syringes on her property,"

Szymchack added that you never know where you will find a used syringe.

"We have been called out to playgrounds, other people's residence...actually kids have called us where they've found needles or shake and bake meth labs."

Ellis says that since the Syringe Exchange Program began a year and a half ago they have kept over thirty-eight thousand syringes from hitting the streets. So she says the problem could be much worse.

"The ones that we've sent out thankfully have returned, the majority of them, and we feel like we are doing a tremendous job in capturing those issues in our community."

Ellis goes on to say the public perception of syringe exchange programs is similar to their perception of another harm reduction program that passes out condoms to High School students.

"It wasn't to encourage or promote sexual relations it was to prevent the spread of diseases and this is the same concept."

Both Ellis and Deputy Szymchack suggest you contact the proper authorities to come safely collect any syringes you might find.

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