Dr. Brandon Howell from the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington recently presented his “Protecting Yourself from Opioid Waste Exposures and Associated Infectious Diseases” workshop to administrators and employees of the park district, public works department, and police department of Deerfield, Illinois.
With the opioid epidemic continuing to rise in the United States, the risk for workers being exposed to opioids and opioid waste is also on the rise. Parks, public works, and law enforcement professionals are no exception.
Parks and public lands, which these professionals help preserve, have unfortunately become a frequent location for opioid use and related behaviors, and thus a location for the improper disposal of opioid-related wastes.
Howell’s workshop attempts to educate working professionals on how to identify, handle, and break the chain of disease transmissions; specifically when hypodermic needles are left behind for clean-up.
Howell is an education specialist for the Biohazard and Infectious Diseases Training Initiative. In addition, Howell serves as the Dean’s Administrative Fellow for Operations and Procedures and as a White Lodging Faculty Fellow.