A concept of safe facilities where drug
users go to get high with supervision has sparked controversy throughout
In late January 2017, Seattle and King County announced the creation of
two "safe-consumption" sites for drug users in an effort to decrease the
number of heroin and opioid overdose deaths in the area.
The Seattle Times reports that the sites are stocked with
overdose-reversing drug naloxone and information to try to connect
people with addiction treatment centers.
The safe injection sites in Seattle are the first of their kind in the
United States, according to the Seattle Times. The facilities have been
popular in Europe for decades.
In April, over 100 health care professionals in New York City pushed to
convince lawmakers to develop safe places for illegal drug users, aiming
to provide a clean and sterile environment for them.
“So people bring their own drugs that they’ve obtained — unfortunately
illegally — and bring them into a place where they can use, and then
they make referrals to housing, to methadone, to detox,” nurse Liz Evans
told CBS2’s Emily Smith.
Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds with the Family and Children’s Association works
with drug addicts every day and told CBS2 it’s a concept he says he just
can’t get behind.
“We are saying just come on in,” he tells CBS2. “We will even help you
put the needle in your arm. So for me, it feels like it goes too far.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioid and heroin
overdoses killed more than 52,000 people in 2015 -- more than traffic
accidents and homicides combined, CBS2 reported.