Ed Murray, the mayor of Seattle, announced the building of a safe injection facility for users of heroin. Seattle will be the first city in the United States with such a facility that actively leads an attempt to reduce drug overdoses.
These facilities offer those who choose to enter them clean needles and space where they can inject heroin. If an overdose occurs, nurses are around and they can administer naloxone, the medication needed in an overdose. Inside the facilities, people can also take HIV and hepatitis tests and can receive medical services.
As expected, such places are facing controversy. However, Murray declared this was an action meant to stop the epidemic of heroin use that struck Seattle lately like never before. He said that the prevention of death from overdose could be the first step for the addicts to receive the treatment they need and begin their recovery.
There are also fears that these facilities will offer more permissiveness regarding illegal drug use. However, what they have done so far was to narrow heroin consumption. The facility in Vancouver, Canada, is the first site in North America where people can safely inject drugs. Since 2003, drug consumption has not overflown and thousands of deaths have been prevented.
The city of Seattle decided to found this safe site after the increase in heroin overdose deaths that occurred in the U.S. The rates of heroin consumption have quadrupled since 2010. In 2014, the number of deaths caused by heroin raised by 58 percent only in Seattle. Also, more than 33,000 people died in 2015 because of the misuse of opioid drugs.
The authorities think that drug use should no longer be considered a taboo. Instead, their goal is to help those in need and prevent as many deaths as possible. Drug addicts are more chances to quit drugs forever if they receive suitable care and are helped to pave their way to recovery.
Although many regard the idea of safe injection facilities as outrageous, this is one of the few ways in which the authorities can prevent deaths from heroin overdose and help the consumers get rid of their addiction. Maybe this initiative will convince drug users to stop hiding and reach out for help.
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