Harm reduction initiatives have popped up recently to combat the war on drugs. Some decry it as a concept which promotes drug use by offering a place for people to go and use drugs while others believe it creates a safe, clean environment which avoids the spread of disease and infection. Another state is considering safe injection sites for heroin sites in Seattle which begs the question of whether or not the sites are safe or necessary.
Skyrocketing overdoses and deaths in every state across America have law enforcement and families scrambling to come up with ways to combat the deadly epidemic of heroin and other drugs in communities across the United States. Safe injection sites are promoted as one way to address the growing heroin crisis. Insite is a supervised heroin injection site in Vancouver, British Columbia (B.C.) which is the first of its kind in the area. Seen by some as progressive, individuals with addiction to narcotics are able to use under the watch of medical professionals to offer support. This may include the administration of naloxone to reverse an overdose.
Purpose of Safe Injection Sites
Some individuals against the injection sites fear it is a way to legalize heroin use while others disagree and find the sites perfectly safe. Individuals who use the injection sites are also able to receive services, counseling and information about addiction treatment. The sites are designed to save lives and plant seeds of hope for change.
Statistics of Safe Injection Sites
Canada’s first safe injection facility opened in Vancouver in 2003 which produced notable change:
- Each day around 800 individuals stopped to use the facility
- 10-20 users overdosed weekly
- 0 deaths occurred in the facility
Seattle-King County Sheriff John Urquhart was a narcotics detective who openly admits more needs to be done to help heroin addicts and believes safe-injection sites may provide the answer.
Opposition to Safe Injection Sites
So many have been negatively impacted by increased heroin and opiate use over the past several years. Communities are becoming damaged and people are suffering needlessly from what is occurring which is creating weariness about what can possibly be done. New options must be considered in the war on drugs which may include safe injection sites. Although it may not seem to make a huge difference or reduction in the number of people with addiction dying every day, it may provide a chance to recover and seek treatment. That, in and of itself, is a worthwhile endeavor. Even if it takes a few times before someone responds positively to the information provided, it is still a life which was saved as a result of positive, empowering program which seeks to make a dent in the harrowing, growing epidemic harming and killing people across the nation.
Hired Power provides resources and support for families and loved ones with addiction. Call us to find out how we can support your journey to becoming drug free. 800-910-9299