ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) It's a startling situation for one family in Roanoke. While walking to school, a mother says she found needles in an alley three times in the last couple weeks.
The walk from home to school is good family time for Beth Deel and her kids.
Beth Deel, Mother, said, “They tell us stories about school or what they anticipate doing that day”
They take the alley behind their home to Fallon Park Elementary, about a quarter mile walk.
Along the walk, Deel says, she came across a needle. It was the first of *three* in the last two weeks. She's just glad her kids -- who are four and five -- didn't find them first.
Deel said, “This age is very curious, they would pick anything up.”
After she found that third needle, she ended up calling the police and posting what she learned on Facebook.
“I've never had a post have that much attention,” she said.
Hundreds of people liked and shared it. It's a message Tracey Coltrain wants to share, too.
Tracey Coltrain, RAYSAC Director, said, “Imagine if it was a child who found this and didn't know not to pick the needle up. That's what scares me.”
She's with RAYSAC - an organization raising awareness on the opioid epidemic. She says touching a needle could be extremely dangerous if there is heroin or fentanyl on it.
“It could kill you on the spot,” said Coltrain. “Even as much as one little grain of it could potentially kill you.”
Roanoke Police say people should call them if they see needles and don't touch them.
Roanoke Police say they don't get calls too often about needles on the road or yards, but they are happy to come and take care of them safely.