Used needles becoming a problem in Jackson

Jackson, Mich. - There’s a safety concern in Jackson because used drug needles are turning up in neighborhoods and the county sheriff says the problem is getting worse.

News 10's Cryss Walker spoke with police and health experts to find out what you should do if you find a dirty needle.

“I was kind of shocked to see it in the middle of the street right on the street that I live on”, said Hakim Crampton, as he described discovering a used needle over the weekend.

“I know children who live right in front of where I found the needle, so I quickly wanted to dispose of it.”

Crampton lives on Addison Street in Jackson.

He says his block is known for drug use at night due to limited street lights.

“Well this street is dark, there's only one lighting on this street”, Crampton explained.

“It's kind of remote. It's off of Francis Street on the south side here. There's a lot of substance abuse on this side of town.”

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail says idle needles can pose a serious threat because it can expose people to potent and powerful drugs like Fentanyl and other dangers.

So what do you do if you come across a used needle?

Health officials say the best practice is to wear gloves and use pliers to pick up the syringe, while carefully placing it, needle first, into a sharps container.

“Trying any safe way to pick them up without any risk of cutting yourself or piercing yourself”, Vail said.

“Then getting them disposed of properly in a sharps container.”

Cryss Walker reached out to Jackson County Sheriff Steve Rand about the issue.

He says that this is a growing concern and that the problem is getting worse.

The Jackson County Sheriff says that if you know how to properly collect and dispose dirty needles, you are encouraged to do so.

Sheriff Rand says if you come in contact with one and you don't know what to do, then you can contact law enforcement for help. 

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