Utah man warns of danger of used drug needles after being pricked in public park

A good deed in a public park led to a Utah man seeking treatment for possible exposure to infectious diseases after he was stuck by a discarded drug needle in a pile of garbage.

Georg Stutzenberger, of Salt Lake City, says he was pricked when he reached down to clean up trash near the entrance to the off-leash dog area at Cottonwood Park last week. Health officials have been trying to address the issue of discarded drug needles for years. The Salt Lake County Health Department has four sharps disposal boxes around Salt Lake City.

Concerns over drug use and discarded needles have also been an issue at other parks in the city. In 2019, 2News spoke with a former park groundskeeper who said the danger presented in the parks by drug use led her to quit. There have been efforts to implement “safe injections sites,” but the issue has led to pushback from critics who say it incentivizes drug use.

Originally reported by 2KUTV March 8, 2021.