Over the past few weeks, Take Back Santa Cruz’s Needles Solutions Team has seen a dramatic increase in reports of needles found on Seabright Beach, which is located in Santa Cruz between the Boardwalk and the Harbor.
Making a Driftword Fort, Children find bloody needle
One of the incidents involved a mother enjoying a day in the sand with her two daughters. Along with the driftwood they were using to make a “fort”, the girls unfortunately found a bloody needle among the storm debris. The mother, whose husband actually stepped on a needle in front of Denny’s on Ocean Street lives near the County’s Syringe Services Program and regularly finds needles in her neighborhood. “To me it is just like seeing a cigarette butt. I hate to say it but it is the norm now to me and my girls.”
Cleaning up discarded needles from current drug users has become part of this local hero’s own journey of recovery from drug addiction
A Santa Cruz man who has been cleaning up dozens of needles from Seabright Beach this past month told TBSC, “l shot dope for the better part of ten years and even at my very lowest point, I NEVER left a rig in a place where it could potentially harm someone.” Cleaning up discarded needles from current drug users has become part of this local hero’s own journey of recovery from drug addiction, and a much-appreciated way of giving back to the community.
With El Nino just getting started, it is likely that more needles will wash up onto our beaches. If you find a needle, alert the park ranger if there is one present. If not, call 911 within Santa Cruz City limits or your local non-emergency number for other parts of the county for law enforcement pick up.
Find out more on our Needle in Public Spaces resource page on the web.