The Indiana Recovery Alliance is asking community members to help clean up syringes around Bloomington.
The nonprofit organization hosted a walk along the B-Line Trail on Tuesday, the first of what it hopes will be many events.
The IRA operates Monroe County’s syringe exchange program, where people can drop off used needles for proper disposal and pick up clean needles. The program aims to reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C among intravenous drug users.
IRA Director Chris Abert is a social worker and overdose educator. He says the walk also serves to educate people about the biggest risks when it comes to syringes.
“We want the community to, again, be very aware that the actual risk of a community found syringe is negligible,” he says. “The real danger lies in denying access to [clean syringes] to people who are using drugs.”
Abert says he hopes to continue the weekly walks throughout the summer months and recruit more people to join him.