Police are advising locals to be wary of used needles being left in public spaces after three people were found shooting up on a staircase Saturday morning in downtown Trail.
“At 8:50 a.m., the Trail and Greater District RCMP received a complaint of three suspects using hypodermic needles to inject what was believed to be fentanyl while on the staircase between Helena Street and Portland Street,” Sgt. Mike Wicentowich reported Oct. 7.
“The RCMP attended and located three individuals. The two males and one female cleaned up after themselves then departed the downtown Trail area.”
The RCMP advise the public to be aware of the general overall increased use of hypodermic needles in the midst of an nationwide opioid epidemic.
Witnesses to this type of activity are encouraged to report it to the Trail detachment 250.364.2566.
The Trail Times asked Sgt. Wicentowich what the legal repercussions are, if any, for individuals found injecting illicit drugs in public places.
“When a person consumes a drug, they are technically no longer in possession of it,” he began.
“The investigating RCMP officer will still conduct an investigation into the incident and determine if the person is in possession of more drugs or is in breach of any court imposed condition,” explained Wicentowich.
“If they are in possession of drugs, in breach of conditions, or committing other crimes, they will be arrested and charged. If they are intoxicated by the drug, they will be arrested and held till sober.”
Long term drug addicts with high tolerance do not typically become intoxicated to the point to where police can arrest them, he clarified.
“In this matter, the three likely consumed a small amount of drugs, called ‘chipping,’ in order not to get sick from withdrawal then headed to Castlegar to get their methadone,” he said.
“It is a very sad life and the repercussions to themselves are poverty, homelessness, mental health issues, addiction, and hunger. Even if there is no arrest and charges.
To report used needles, contact the Trail RCMP or the City of Trail if it falls within municipal boundaries.
“The RCMP have containers to pick them up in an emergency,” the sergeant noted. “But we rely on the City of Trail and others to clean up needles as it does not fall within our mandate or training.”