At that time, Minneapolis firefighters planned to collect the needles until the city found a better solution. But Melanie Rucker, Deputy Chief of the Minneapolis Fire Department, says the problem is likely worse despite her efforts.
“I don’t have a lot of patience with this, but I also have a certain amount of empathy,” Lough said. “Do I like it? Never. If I can kick the habit, they can think about it too.”
Despite prevention efforts and setup, says Noya Woodrich of the Minneapolis Department of Health needle drop boxes The opioid crisis, which has already garnered thousands of needles this year, is intensifying.
“We saw a significant increase in the number of fatal overdoses in 2019 and 2020,” Woodrich said. “I often hear complaints of people standing on the sidewalk and shooting, and people are sick of seeing it and people are sick of seeing it from their kids.”
He also still receives needle throwing complaints, and often.
“I feel like it’s worse again,” Woodrich said. “We need to prevent the problem from becoming a problem. We need to help our young children not turn to opioids.