Volusia Co. nurse wants to get dirty needles off the streets

A local nurse is trying to get dirty needles off the streets after encountering one with her two young kids a couple months ago in Daytona Beach.

“I looked down on the corner of a sidewalk and there's a needle sticking out loaded with drugs,” Tammy Leggett explained. “Any kid with flip flops on could have gotten that stuck in their toe.”

It’s a problem the Volusia County Sheriff’s office knows about, as heroin and fentanyl abuse rises locally and nationally.

“We do get those from around the whole county, we’re getting those phone calls in the cities and county area that there are discarded needles there,” said Sheriff Mike Chitwood.

Leggett, a nurse, has decided to do something about it. She’s says she’s put around 30 sharps containers out around Volusia County, where addicts can safely get rid of syringes.

She says some people see her work as controversial but she sees is as potentially lifesaving.

“There are a lot of people that don't like me putting these out for the drug addicts to drop their dirty needles into because they feel like I'm condoning drugs. I'm not in any way condoning drugs, I’m doing this to keep our kids safe, I don't want dirty needles on the ground,” Leggett explained.

According to state health officials, there is only one needle exchange in the state of Florida where addicts can turn in dirty needles for clean ones. It’s located in Miami.