All You Need To Know About “Safe Sites” For Heroin Users
When it comes to heroin addiction in the United States the numbers are still only going up. Lots of money, time, and effort is being thrown at the problem without too many positive results. At least, not the results that we want.
Opiate addiction is on the up-and-up still in the United States so now we are coming up with better ways to try and fight it.
A new idea in recent years has taken hold in many states, and it involves having “safe sites” for injecting drugs. Generally, it is meant for injecting heroin. This is supposed to help them in many ways but could instead end up just giving them another place to shoot up and enable their drug use.
In Seattle, there was a study done to see how these “safe sites” might actually end up helping those who are addicted to drugs like heroin.
This whole idea is based on a harm reduction model, that means if people are going to use drugs then at least, we can reduce the harm that comes from that. Ideally, that means giving them a safe place to use drugs where they can’t be harmed and clean needles, so they don’t get sick.
It’s also meant to help prevent drug overdose deaths because they are supervised sites, so they are watched for signs of overdose.
The problem many people have when it comes to these “safe sites” is that they believe it will enable drug users to keep using because they will be less fearful of the consequences that come with that like the possibility of death.
Drug policy toward people who use drugs is also currently quite harsh and aimed toward punishment instead of help. Consequences of being caught using drugs can include:
– Prison time
– Custodial changes or loss of parental rights
– Other harsh penalties that limit a person’s ability to get help
Using on the street can lead to these problems that don’t ultimately help those who use heroin. Obviously, the clinic does not provide illegal drugs to use. Instead, they are there to make sure people remain clean, and they also have drugs that can help reverse overdoses if they do happen.
Overall there isn’t enough information yet to know if these sites really work at all. But there are meant to help some of the worse effects of opioid addiction.