Discarded needles a problem on Cape beaches

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BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) — Cape Cod officials say discarded hypodermic needles have become a problem at some beaches and parks.

Last week at West Dennis Beach, police say a syringe buried in the sand pricked the toe of a man on vacation. Authorities say the man had to get several shots, will have to take medication and will have to undergo tests over the next year, because of worries about hepatitis and HIV.

Yarmouth Deputy Police Chief Steven Xiarhos told the Cape Cod Times that discarded syringes have become a major problem. Provincetown officials, however, say they rarely see discarded needles.

Xiarhos links the increase in discarded needles to a surge in heroin use, and the state’s 2006 legalization of needle sales without a prescription to curb the spread of HIV and hepatitis.

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