Safe Injection Sites for Heroin Users

Europe, Australia and Canada operate facilities where injection drug users are monitored for safety while injecting substances. These facilities offer medical care such as wound care, testing for diseases, needle exchanges and referrals to treatment if wanted.  It is based upon a harm reduction model, which is based on interventions for those who are unable or unwilling to stop, in order to keep them safe. According to research there is a 35 percent reduction in heroin overdose deaths, the transmission of infectious diseases is greatly reduced, and neighborhoods are cleaned up of discarded needles. I’m reading news articles that Ithaca, New York, Massachusetts and Seattle are considering the benefits of these sites.

Discussion Guide:

In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of injection sites?

If you had an opportunity to make use of an injection site, when you were in active addiction, would you do so?

If you were an active drug addict and had access to an injection site, would it help you or prolong your drug use?

Would you support changes in United States law to open injection sites?

Supplemental Reading:

Massachusetts Needs Safe Injection Sites, Boston Globe

Are Safe Injection Facilities for Heroin Users a Step in the Right Direction?

Seattle Could Be the First City in the U.S. to Host Safe Injection Sites for Heroin Users, Casey Jaywork,