Used drug syringes dot the landscape in the small village of Camden; a piercing reminder that small-town America is not immune to the opioid epidemic gripping the nation.
"Public places, around public buildings, in bathroom trash cans at businesses in public bathrooms...people are finding them in the street at the end of their driveway," says Camden Police Officer, Fred Robenski. "We're securing, within the past month, at least 10, maybe 15-20."
The appearance of used syringes, and accompanying phone calls from concerned citizens, prompted Camden Police to put a warning on their Facebook page, advising people to call police to properly dispose of any syringes they might encounter. You never know what could be on them.
"Five to seven grains of salt is the equivalent amount of Fentanyl that can prove fatal," said Robenski. "Do not clean your hands with alcohol based hand sanitizer. That'll actually aid the Fentany in getting in your system. Wash your hands with soap and water."
Officer Robenski, around 1:00 Tuesday afternoon, disposed of a used syring found behind a Camden business. He said the syringe wasn't there that morning.
"I worked for Rome Police Department for a number of years and I was in the narcotics unit there. We had the largest heroin seizure in Oneida County history and it was less than two ounces. And a year later, we took off a quarter kilo in Utica. It exploded and it's getting bigger and bigger and bigger," says Robenski. "It's expanding exponentially every year."