Clinics & Services

Needle Syringe Supplies and Disposal

Alert

December 4, 2020: Increasing Overdoses in Hamilton - An increase in calls to paramedics for suspected opioid-related overdoses was seen between November 30 and December 3, 2020 in Hamilton. Reports from the frontline indicate there is a stronger fentanyl/carfentanil substance in the area that is being linked to increased overdoses that are difficult to reverse. It is likely there is a new deadly substance circulating in the community.

October 8, 2020: Increase in Suspected Opioid-Related Overdoses in Hamilton - There has been a recent large increase in overdose calls to Hamilton Paramedics. There is likely a new deadly substance in the area. Multiple reports have been received indicating that this could be related to red/pink fentanyl/heroin. This is a reminder that dangerous drugs continue to circulate locally and have a tragic impact in our community.

June 28, 2019: Carfentanil Alert - The Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health has reported there has been an increase in carfentanil in Ontario in 2019. Carfentanil is a very toxic opioid and people who use carfentanil may be at high risk of overdose. Carfentanil has contributed to 142 deaths in Ontario between January 1, 2019 and April 29, 2019.

There is no easy way to know what is in your drugs. You can't see it, smell it or taste it. Substances such as fentanyl and carfentanil can be cut (mixed) with other drugs. Even a very small amount can cause an overdose.

February 1, 2019: Purple Heroin Alert: Public Health Services has received reports of overdoses due to Purple Heroin, a highly toxic synthetic laced heroin, circulating the community.  People say it can cause confusion, and speech problems.  People also say it can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea for several days after. This serves as an important reminder to the community that street drugs continue to be cut (mixed) with toxic substances.

June 22, 2018: Blue Heroin Alert: Public Health Services has received multiple reports of overdoses attributed to “Blue Heroin”, a highly toxic fentanyl laced heroin, circulating the community.  This serves as an important reminder to the community that street drugs continue to be cut (mixed) with substances such as fentanyl.

March 2018: Purple Heroin Alert: Public Health Services has received multiple reports of overdoses attributed to “Purple Heroin”, a highly toxic fentanyl laced heroin, circulating in the community. This serves as an important reminder to the community that street drugs continue to be cut (mixed) with substances such as fentanyl.

September 2017: Public Health Services has received reports of fentanyl laced methamphetamine circulating in the community. This serves as an important reminder to the community that street drugs can be cut (mixed) with substances such as fentanyl.

March 2017: Public Health Services has been notified of reports of a drug called “takeover” or "dirty fentanyl" which is crack laced with fentanyl. Reports are that this drug is causing an immediate and dangerous loss of consciousness. 

December 2016: Be aware that street drugs in Hamilton may contain a deadly opioid drug carfentanil. It is 100 times more toxic than fentanyl and is hidden in other drugs. It will cause more overdoses and deaths.

An opioid overdose is a medical emergency. Prevent opioid overdose death and save lives using the 4 C’s of safety:

  • Careful Use - Don’t use alone, do a test dose first,
    • When using with others, do not use at the same time
    • Use at the Consumption and Treatment Site at Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre, 71 Rebecca St.
    • Access opioid treatments (e.g. Suboxone or Methadone)
  • Carry naloxone - Get a FREE naloxone kit, and training at the following locations:
    • City of Hamilton Public Health Services Harm Reduction program: 905-546-4276.
    • Participating local pharmacies by calling the Drug and Alcohol Helpline: 1-800-565-8603.
  • Call 9-1-1 for every overdose. You, your friend or family member needs hospital care to survive.
  • CPR. Push Hard, Push Fast.

Hamilton Opioid Information System: Hamilton Public Health Services is collaborating with Hamilton Paramedic Services, Hamilton Health Sciences, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, and community partners to provide timely opioid-related information to the public.

Needles can be disposed of several ways depending on where it's been found. Safely collected needles can be taken to Hamilton Community Recycling Centres, Community Sharps Disposal Bins or Needle Syringe Program Sites.

  • If you find a needle on Public property
    Including sidewalks, streets, boulevards, parks, trails or facilities, contact the City of Hamilton, Customer Contact Centre, 905-546-2489 and report it.
  • If you find a needle on Private property
    Including residential homes, apartments, commercial buildings and parking lots, property owners are responsible for disposing of the needles safely. Please review the following section Safe Disposal of Needles.

Safe Disposal of Needles

Adults can safely dispose of a found needle using the equipment listed and following the accompanying steps.

Equipment

  • Tongs and/or wear gloves - use punture proof needle resistant gloves, to prevent potential needle stick injuries.
  • Sturdy container with lid - such as an empty pop or household cleaner bottle.

Steps

1. Use tongs and/or put on gloves
2. Bring a puncture-proof, sealable container to the area the needle was found
3. Pick up the needle by the middle of the plastic tube with the sharp end facing down.
4. Place the needle in the container sharp end first and close the container tightly.
5. Remove gloves and wash your hands and equipment with soap and water.

6. Bring the container to a Needle Syringe Program Sites Site or; Hamilton Community Recycling Centre (CRC) - Recycling Centres are closed Sundays

Note: Hamilton Community Recycling Centres will only accept needles and syringes that are in plastic or metal containers with a lid such as an empty detergent bottle or metal coffee can. Label the outside of the container “syringes”. Needles and syringes in glass containers will not be accepted. Never flush or dispose of needles in curbside garbage or Blue Box containers.

For additional assistance contact the City at 905-546-2489

Community Sharps Disposal Bins

A sharps or needle disposal bin is a durable container that is used to safely dispose of needles and other sharp medical instruments. The City of Hamilton has placed these containers in select locations to help reduce the number of improperly discarded needles. Ensuring all people who use needles have access to a way of dispose of them safely is a priority for the City. 

Based on a targeted approach, sharps disposal bins are located at the following City parks:

Image of Needle / Syringe Disposal Bin

Beasley Park
96 Mary St, Hamilton
Between skate park and playground

Cathedral Park
707 King St W, Hamilton
Northeast of park building

Central Park – Coming Soon
168 Bay St N, Hamilton
Location TBD

Jackie Washington Park
361 Wellington St N, Hamilton
Pavilion South of building

J.C. Beemer Park
68 Victoria Ave N, Hamilton
Southeast of building by wading pool

John Rebecca Park
76 John St N, Hamilton
Rebecca Street side of park

Victoria Park
500 King St W, Hamilton
South of park building

Woodland Park
501 Barton St E, Hamilton
West of park building

Grey Community Sharps Disposal Bins

Similar to the yellow Community Sharps Disposal Bins, the City of Hamilton has placed five additional grey sharps disposal bins in select locations to help further reduce the number of improperly discarded needles.

Please note: These new grey sharps disposal bins limit the size of items that can be disposed of. The smaller opening is meant for needles and small drug paraphernalia only.

These new grey sharps disposal bins can be found in the following locations:

Cathedral Shelter
378 Main St. E, Hamilton

Lucy Day Park
33 Clinton St., Hamilton

Corktown Pathway – Escarpment Rail Trail
Between Corktown Park and Wentworth Stairs 

Powell Park
53 Birch Avenue at Harvey Street

Gage Park Children’s Museum
1072 Main St. E, Hamilton

For more information about harm reduction supplies and safe needle disposal in Hamilton call 905-546-4276 or email [email protected]

Needle Syringe Program Sites

The following Needle Syringe Program Sites provide needles, safe injection supplies, naloxone and health information to encourage safer injecting practices.

Notice: Some NSP sites may be closed or have altered hours due to COVID.It is recommended that clients call the site before going to ensure that they are open for drop-in.

Alcohol, Drugs and Gambling Services
21 Hunter Street East, 3rd Floor
Hamilton, Ontario L8N 3W8
Phone 905-546-3606

Hours
Monday & Tuesday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Wednesday, 8:30 am to 7 pm
Thursday & Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm


Hamilton Urban Core
Community Health Centre
181 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario

Phone 905-522-3233

Hours
Monday 9 am to 5 pm
Tuesday 9 am to 8 pm
Wednesday 12:30 pm to 5 pm
Thursday 9 am to 8 pm
Friday* 9 am to 5 pm
Saturday* 9 am to 1 pm
Sunday Closed

* Third week of the month


Consumption and Treatment Services Site
70 James Street S.
Hamilton, Ontario
905-522-3233 ext. 109 or 110

Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday 10:30 am to 11 pm
Saturday and Sunday 4 to 11 pm


Street Health Clinic at the Wesley Centre
52 Catharine Street North (Interim Location)

Hours
Monday & Wednesday - 9 am to 1 pm (Public Health Nurse on Site)
Tuesday, Thursday & Friday - 9 am to 12 pm (Shelter Health physician on site)


The AIDS Network
140 King Street East, Lower Level
Hamilton, Ontario
Phone 905-528-0854

Hours
Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm


Public Health Sexual Health Clinics
view clinic locations and hours
Phone 905-528-5894

Hours
Various individual clinic hours