Health and Community Services
June 6, 2018

Provincial Government, St. John’s Community Action Group on Fentanyl Launch Harm Reduction Initiative

The Provincial Government, in cooperation with the St. John’s Community Action Group on Fentanyl and the City of St. John’s, today announced the launch of a new harm reduction initiative.

Two large metal sharps kiosks and several smaller metal sharps boxes will be installed at public locations in St. John’s to facilitate the safe disposal of needles. The main intent of these metal sharps boxes is to divert the disposal of used needles from city grounds, thus enhancing public safety. One of the large metal sharps kiosks will be located near Quidi Vidi Lake and the other in a central city neighbourhood.

This harm reduction initiative is led by the St. John’s Community Action Group on Fentanyl, a partnership between the Department of Health and Community Services, City of St. John’s, Eastern Health, and several community outreach organizations. This summer, the Action Group will host a series of pop-up tents promoting education and awareness about the opioid Fentanyl, training in how to administer the overdose antidote Naloxone, harm reduction, stigma reduction, and addiction treatment services.

The pop-up tents will appear throughout St. John’s this summer at various festivals.

The immediate goals of the St. John’s Community Action Group on Fentanyl are to increase public awareness about drug use and overdose risk, reduce harms associated with intravenous drug use, and increase access to Naloxone take home kits.

Quotes
“Encouraging the proper disposal of used needles enhances public safety by removing the potential risk of an individual inadvertently coming into contact with one. This harm reduction initiative is just one of the steps our government is taking with its partners in the St. John’s Community Action Group on Fentanyl.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“We must work together to increase awareness about the dangers of Fentanyl use in our city. I am proud to be part of the St. John’s Community Action Group on Fentanyl, who are committed to helping reduce the stigma and harm associated with drug use, and the initiatives announced today will help keep our community safe.”
Bernard Davis
MHA for Virginia Waters - Pleasantville

“The City of St. John’s recognizes the importance of creating environments that support healthy communities, and as part of the Community Action Group on Fentanyl, we are pleased to install sharps disposal kiosks in public spaces. By partnering with the provincial government and community agencies, we have been able to facilitate a regional approach with new, smart ideas, like this one, to improve the safety of our population.”
Danny Breen
Mayor, City of St. John’s

“The installation of these outdoor sharps disposal units represents the power of collaboration between multiple levels of government, service providers and community groups in tackling serious social issues. As we continue to address the opioid crisis in our communities, we will harness the power of working together to build a safer community for all through education, prevention and crisis intervention.”
Hope Jamieson
Councillor, City of St. John’s

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Media contacts
Emily Timmins
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 693-1292
EmilyTimmins@gov.nl.ca

Kelly Maguire
Media Relations
City of St. John's
709-576-8491
kmaguire@stjohns.ca

2018 06 06                             12:50 p.m.