Junkie Etiquette Getting Better: Fewer Discarded Syringes in the Tenderloin

Categories: Crime
Thumbnail image for syringe 02.jpg
Cleaner junkies on the streets of San Francisco
Tenderloin junkies are apparently cleaning up their mess. According to a new report, drug users are leaving far fewer syringes on the streets, a welcome relief to the street sweepers who have to clean them up. However, that's not to say that local denizens have been cutting back on smack. 

​Rather, a source who works with that population tells us junkies are becoming neater for a variety of reasons.

According to the new annual report of the North of Market Tenderloin Community Benefits District -- the nonprofit that pays for street sweepers in the neighborhood -- the number of discarded syringes has declined in the last few years.

During 2006 and 2007, street sweepers picked up 3,099 syringes. During 2009 and 2010, they found 1,678, according to the report.

Our source says there are two phenomena, both having to do with city efforts to eliminate shared needles as disease vectosr. Aside from needle exchange programs, city policy allows pharmacies to sell limited numbers of syringes to customers even if they don't have prescriptions. This prevents them from borrowing rigs from friends. 

It turns out that when needles are passed around, they're more likely to wind up on the asphalt. Commerce is messy, our observant homeless outreach worker source explains. When junkies can go to their store for their equipment, they throw garbage in the garbage just like the rest of us.

We're left with a needling question: If junkies aren't junky, what are they?



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9 comments
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guest
guest

Found one on Pershing by Baker Beach..that's a first for me. :P

bigriggs
bigriggs

It's pathetic that pharmacies can sell syringes to people without any prescriptions.

bigriggs
bigriggs

They are just enabling the loser junkies with this. Nothing more, nothing less.

Jesse Powell
Jesse Powell

Ladies and gentlemen: the man we've all been looking for! He has the solution to the drug war (and all other social ills, too!): just let the losers die! Next problem!!

bigriggs
bigriggs

I have no sympathy for any junkie out there.

Macphee415
Macphee415

Like the other comment said, junkies should all just get HIV and hep c from dirty needles? Oh and then leave them on the streets? Both the needle exchange and pharmacy bills have helped the WHOLE community, both drug users and those who don't use. If you think pharmacies being able to sell syringes without a prescription and in turn make a positive change in the Tenderloin is stupid, go f**k yourself.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

So you'd prefer it if junkies all had AIDS?

Paul E. Ester
Paul E. Ester

More people using oxy pills vs. mex heroin? 

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