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Map of Hypodermic Needles Found Around Santa Cruz

A member of Take Back Santa Cruz compiled the map from accounts of needles found the past 11 months.

The orange dots are needles found.
The orange dots are needles found.
The pinpoints are terrifying, say members of Take Back Santa Cruz.

Each one represents one or more discarded needles found in the streets or public areas of Santa Cruz, posted on Facebook by Paul Garcia. They don't include those found and not reported by gardeners.

These are ones found by members of the Clean Team, a group of concerned residents who go out weekly and clean the streets, levees and parks.

Some of the comments include those who say that it used to be an aberration to find a needle; now all you have to do is look down while walking. There's also been a shift, observers say, from the Lower Ocean neighborhood, where the needle exchange van passed out needles for more than a decade, to the area around Emeline, where the county now distributes them.

A Santa Cruz City Council public safety sub-committee has suggested that the county come up with a way to label  the needles given out so they can be tracked to the users.


Lower Ocean Heights November 16, 2013 at 11:19 AM
Dawn, I'm unclear on your comment. Are you saying that since Needle Exchange moved you're finding more needles in Lower Ocean?
Steve Premo November 16, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Dawn's comment is not ambiguous. And it makes sense. If the intravenous drug users in lower Ocean have to go all the way to Emiline Street to turn in their used needles, they are less likely to do so than if there is a needle exchange in their neighborhood.
Sara Coon December 04, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Wtf!?! They are so freaking Nieve. Saying since the exchange moved they find more needles at the new place. They have always been giving needles out at emline, and I swear the only reason they are finding so much is because IM not there collecting the needles and exchanging them for the lazy addicts and IM not there making sure there is a Sharps container at every needles users camp and keeping Santa Cruz safe and clean. there are actually a handful of junkies that leave their rigs around, and they giving others a bad name.
Sara Coon December 04, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Getting rid of and or coding the needles won't change much, just more people getting sick. And actually a lot of the needles that are found are not from the exchange because the lames who leave their needles everywhere don't go there, they but them from stores. They are so high they are afraid they government will be watching them, so they just but they from store.
Dave Danger December 05, 2013 at 10:10 AM
Personally, I think the "free heroin needles" "program" should be stopped immediately, and the police encouraged to make life difficult for the junkies. Criminy....if somebody were intentionally trying to create the biblical sodom/gomorah/tower of babble, it would look like Santa Cruz.

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