The Debate on Supervised Drug-Use Sites

Over the past decade, the abuse of prescription painkillers and opioids has risen dramatically. With the rise of abuse has come the rise of overdoses and the risk of numerous harmful outcomes. Many individuals do not even realize that they are becoming addicted until the dependence has taken a stronghold over them. It can be scary to feel like you need to use and knowing that you are putting yourself into risky situations, but not knowing how to stop. Supervised drug-use sites are a harm reduction method that provides an environment where those who are physically and mentally addicted to drugs can consume drugs in a medically supervised environment. Typically, these facilities also provide resources and information for recovery.

A History of Safe Supervised Consumption Services

In America, residents may be surprised to learn that the first supervised drug consumption facility open over 30 years. This first center was located in Switzerland and was authorized by the government. Since then, numerous centers have opened up across Europe, Canada, and Australia. However, as many of the substances that are consumed in these facilities are illegal in most countries, it can be a battle to get government approval and funding. To date, there are no programs or facilities like this in the United States.

Recent Efforts to Open A Safe Injection Center in America

Safehouse is one of the current and more aggressive organizations that have been working to open up a safe drug use site in Philidelphia, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Senators became aware of Safehouse’s plans to open a facility the help drug addicts in Philly and proposed new legislation in October intended to “prohibit supervised injection sites from operating in Pennsylvania.” Safehouse continued on with their plans to open the facility and on February 26, 2020 announced that they would be opening in a week. This announcement brought serious backlash, the biggest hit was their lease being revoked in less than 48 hours of the announcement. 

One of the most widely heard complaints from this even was that the community did not have an opportunity to be heard before the decision to open this facility was made. As Safehouse does not have a facility, it is uncertain when Safehouse will have another opportunity to open a facility even if the community gets an opportunity to voice their opinion. 

The Pros & Cons of Overdose Prevention Services 

A widely debated subject, there are many benefits of supervised drug-use sites and many detriments. As more research on these types of facilities is becoming more readily accessible, more and more groups are pushing to see these facilities opened in the United States. 

Some of the common arguments against supervised drug use or injection sites are that they enable drug use, that crime rates will increase, or that they don’t want children and families to be exposed to drug use. In reality, overdose prevention sites overseas have shown that the opposite happens when these types of facilities open.

Let’s Do It! Supervised Drug-Use Sites…

  • Are proven to assist with harm reduction
  • Reduce overdose rates
  • Reduce the spread of communicable diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C
  • Provide a safe place to seek help
  • Create an opportunity to provide recovery resources and information
  • Keep drug use and discarded paraphernalia off the streets
  • Create jobs

Although many would do anything to keep their loved ones of those who suffer from addiction to opioids and amphetamines alive, it is clear that most communities in America simply aren’t ready for this type of harm reduction. If you or your love one is struggling with addiction, help can be found at our drug and alcohol rehab program. Contact Level Up Lake Worth today!

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