Let us face the cold hard reality of facts. People have been injecting harmful substances into their persons for nany years now. Recently, the numbers of people injecting illegal drugs into their bodies has been on the rise, so much so, that safe needle exchange services were set up for people to swap used needles for sterile needles in hopes of reducing communicable diseases.
Mayor De Blasio has recently announced the intent to submit a plan for consideration. Buildings housing “safe injection sites” are on their way to being opened. The fight for this is warranted as illegal overdoses by injection are up in New York City. 2017 saw an increase in overdoses, 1,441 to be exact, up from 1,374 in 2016.
The plan calls for four safe injection sites to be opened in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Washington Heights. These sites would have medical staff on hand to make sure the person was safe and to treat overdosing if needed by injecting medications like naloxone, if needed. Medical Social Workers will also be on hand to provide counseling services or referrals to drug treatment programs.
The biggest opponent to these safe injection sites is the Federal government. There is a statute that makes it illegal to operate a building in which illehal substances are knowingly used. Studies done in Canada and Europe show that safe injection sites actually help people get cleaned up and live drug free lives with the help of education and counseling.
There is a possibility that these four safe injection sites may be opened as research programs for six months to a year. That way it would bypass the Federal statue violation. I believe that when a person is addicted to a substance it is very hard to shake that addiction. With safe injection sites, the person may have a fighting chance to get the needed help for addiction. To read more about this issue and form your own thoughts on the matter, please click here.