A Washington Police Department employee was stuck in the finger Tuesday by an exposed syringe that was in a plastic bag full of dozens of used syringes in the drug take back receptacle located in the police station’s lobby, according to Chief Ken Hahn.

The bag of syringes were apparently diabetic supplies, Hahn said.

The employee was treated by the city physician and now must undergo future follow-up treatment.

As a reminder to all citizens, the drug take back box is for old and no longer needed medications only, Hahn said.

“Citizens should be aware that this program is for old medicine only, not needles or other sharp objects that could injure department employees,” Hahn said. “That’s exactly what happened in this case.

“People, such as diabetics, that must use sharp instruments for their health care needs are responsible for their own proper disposal of equipment,” he noted. “Sharps containers are easily available and cheap. The drug take back receptacle is not for this purpose.”

Information received from the DEA released at the time of the last national take back initiative suggested people dispose of needles by placing them in an empty plastic laundry detergent container. Screw the cap back on the container, mark the bottle “SHARPS” with a pen and dispose of them in the trash.

Chief Hahn stated the drug take back box is a service to citizens, and the success of this program is reliant on the cooperation of the citizens.

If these improper sharp instruments continue to be found in the take back receptacle, the program may be discontinued, he said.