Letter Concerning Falmouth Needle Exchange

from Greg Remedis of East Falmouth

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Greg Remedis, I’ve been a resident of Falmouth for the last nine years.  I am the Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 42 which serves over 30 young men, in addition I work with Cub Scout Pack 41 which serves nearly 50 youth and Falmouth Girl Scouts which serves around 150 girls ages 5 to 17 years of age. 

These three groups have one thing in common, they all share meeting space at St. Anthony’s Church.  In addition, St. Anthony’s provides religious education for youth and sponsors a youth group. 

I was recently informed of plans for a needle exchange program to be offered directly across the street from the church property.  In addition to the needle exchange, Narcan would also be distributed at this facility.  Thursday evening was the first time I learned of these plans and I have many concerns regarding how this will affect the safety of all the children that count on the church building and grounds to be safe. 

Providing clean needles to prevent the exchange of bloodborne diseases if absolutely a worthy cause.  For three days I’ve been reading studies on results of these programs.  It seems to me you can find the results you want to believe on almost any subject if you read enough studies. 

There is already an issue with used hypodermic needles being dumped on the church property.  It’s a large dark parking lots with paths and woods next to the cemetery.  The staff at St. Anthony’s works hard to properly dispose of these daily so all the youth are safe.  I’m having trouble seeing any scenario where the needle exchange located there will not lead to more needles not being properly disposed of. 

My guess is if someone comes in for needles, they get them.  Even if they’ve come a dozen times before and never ‘exchanged’ anything.  I have lots of questions about this. 

What steps are being taken to make sure this problem won’t become a larger problem at St. Anthony’s and to protect all these children?   Education is simply not enough.  Believing such is choosing ignorance over reality.

Who is responsible/liable if one of these young people gets stuck with a dirty needle?   The town of Falmouth?  The company managing this program?  The state of Massachusetts?  This is a very real question I need an answer for.  The first time I must call a parent, I need to know who will take ownership for letting this happen. 

I spend countless hours teaching these young people they need to be accountable for their actions.  My hope is whoever is responsible for this will take the time to speak with the parents of these youth prior to this program moving forward.

Please share this email with anyone that can help with more information.  

Respectfully,

Greg Remedis

Scoutmaster

Troop 42 – East Falmouth, MA


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