Women “Terrified” after stepping on discarded needle

A photo from a reader of a discarded needle found near a sidewalk on Albert Street.

Late last week, while chasing her dog in the John Street Park, a local women stepped on a discarded needle.  That moment may change her life forever.

Destanie Macleod, lives near the park and recounted to us what happened.

“So, my dog ran away, I was running across to go get him, obviously chasing him. I was wearing flip flops, the little foam ones you get at Walmart. I was running, chasing him,  obviously I wasn’t really looking on the ground. As I was running, I stepped on a needle, it went through my flip flop,” said MacLeod.

She said, the needle luckily didn’t stay in her foot and that it missed any major veins. However for the next 6 weeks, she is going to have to live with the fear that she may have contracted a variety of diseases from the incident.

“I have a 1 in 100 chance of getting Hepatitis A or B,” said Macleod. “A much lower chance for Hepatitis C and other communicable disease.  My next 6 weeks are terrifying, because of someone’s choice, I may be on medication for the rest of my life.  My life may change forever.”

She is frustrated with a whole lot of different people in the community. She believes if you are going to distribute clean needles, you need to be willing to go around and pick them up.

A picture provided by Macleod of a needle discarded on a sidewalk in her neighbourhood.

“Well, if the Government’s gonna fund that [needle exchange] they need to also fund  cleanup crew because [users] are careless, they don’t care if they drop it, or they get high and drop it, nod off, wake up and forget about it,” said Macleod. “That’s when this happens, you walk your animal, you walk your kid, and in one step it’s done.”

When she called the city to complain, she was told they would put in a work order to go and  clean up the area. She also asked if they would wave the Ambulance fee, as this, in no way, was her fault. She was told they would add that request to the work order also.

Her frustration also lies with how the City spends money.  Instead of big money projects, she wonders if the city should put those resources into frontline workers, social services, people trained in dealing with addictions etc. to get these individuals help, or prevent addiction in the first place.

For the next 6 weeks, MacLeod has been told to go about living her life normally, then she will go for a blood test to see if, in that moment, her life has changed forever.


  1. i believe we should be providing clean needles.

    i also believe 100% that if algoma public health is going to hand them out, algoma public health needs to have staff out picking them up.

    • No we shouldn’t. It’s encouraging drug use and doesn’t result in any positive, such as someone stopping their drug use.
      Handing out needles to people who don’t care about anything other than their next high leads to this type of result.
      APH shouldn’t have to pick them up. If this idiotic practice continues the needle should be used right away and disposed of properly.

          • I’ve lived in or spent significant time in many Ontario cities while living there, attending university, military service or during work contracts and haven’t seen nearly the same volume of needles as in Sault ste Marie.
            These are citiea including Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Timmins, Pembroke, Petawawa, Oakville, Mississauga, Toronto, Barrie, North Bay, Hamilton, Trenton.
            Needles are easily found here just while walking downtown, the waterfront, travel centre, parks..

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