Saturday, January 28, 2017

Seattle creates safe sites for addicts to inject illegal drugs

Officials in Seattle on Friday approved the nation’s first “safe-injection” sites for users of heroin and other illegal drugs, calling the move a drastic but necessary response to an epidemic of addiction that is claiming tens of thousands of lives each year.

The sites — which offer addicts clean needles, medical supervision and quick access to drugs that reverse the effects of an overdose — have long been popular in Europe. Now, with the U.S. death toll rising, the idea is gaining traction in a number of American cities, including Boston, New York City and Ithaca, N.Y.

While opponents say the sites promote illegal drug use, supporters say they can keep people alive and steer them toward treatment. They compare supervised injection facilities to the needle exchanges that became popular in the 1980s and 1990s as a way to stanch the spread of HIV and hepatitis C among intravenous drug users.

“These sites save lives and that is our goal in Seattle/King County,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (D) said in a statement.

The sites are not currently legal under federal law, according to Kelly Dineen, a professor of health law at Saint Louis University School of Law. A provision of the Controlled Substances Act makes it illegal to operate facilities where drugs are used, she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a record 33,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2015. Opioids now kill more people each year than car accidents. In 2015, the number of heroin deaths nationwide surpassed the number of deaths from gun homicides.

Via Drudge: Link to more 


edutcher said...

IIRC they tried this in Gotham back in the 60s with predictable results.

Sounds like another measure to protect the snowflakes' delicate sensibilities.

Leland said...

Seattle conspires to help citizens violate federal law.

In other news, Seattle prevents patients from receiving from hospitals, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists from proscribing drugs prohibited by the FDA due to still be under clinical trials.s

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

Seattle just want junkies to commit suicide slower. Sort of evil, but that is how Lefties roll.

chickelit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickelit said...

I lived in Zurich during their "Needle Park" experiment which failed because they could not staunch the influx of new users. WHat are they doing differently in Seattle?

Synova said...

This really shouldn't be federal law in the first place. It sounds pretty stupid but if they want to do it, then the city ought to be able to do what they wish... fight it out with whatever state laws apply. Let different places try different programs, see what works the best.

I suppose I can't really oppose the FDA too much, or the idea of it anyhow. Though I think there are other possibilities to meet the same goals. But I think that the "right to try" laws are a good idea. It makes no sense to bar a dying person from medicine that might kill them.

Leland said...

I'm sorry Synova. I want to agree with you, but I don't see the logic. You think federal law shouldn't ban drugs, but you think the FDA should ban certain drugs?

I can understand something like, the federal government doesn't ban any drugs. Then, the FDA provides only guidelines for certain drugs. In other words, the FDA provides a certification, after a proscribed clinical trial program, which simply states what the drug does both good and bad. Then individual States can use the certified drugs to regulate health insurance options for medical prescriptions, or if they choose, a State could ban various drugs. And if you want to choose an uncertified drug, then pay out of pocket like you would marijuana, cocaine, or crack; or perhaps travel/move to another State. Is this what you mean?

Overall, in my list of laws (federal, state, or municipal) that need fixed; drugs is pretty low. Mainly because right now, it seems no one is interested in any middle ground. It's either ban/control nearly everything or don't enforce laws plus give users free needles so they can OD without getting a blood-borne infection.

By the way, was just reading how my State still enforces a Stamp law on alcohol, which means you can't even purchase alcohol duty free when on international travel. I think its stupid, but for the amount of alcohol I purchase, especially internationally; changing this law would probably have a net effect of about $1,000 for my lifetime. So meh.

ndspinelli said...

They should name the parlors the Curt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix memorial lounges.