Substance Abuse and Treatment
There is a lot that’s controversial about substance abuse and treatment, such as various issues related to marijuana and whether medication-assisted treatment is the best way to go. For example, one of the more polarizing questions is whether or not people suffering from opioid addiction should be offered safe injection sites, where they would find clean needles and be supervised. These sites are not a new idea; CNN reports that in addition to Canada, Australia and some European countries already have them. In 2017, a California bill proposing safe injection sites in eight counties and certain cities such as Los Angeles failed to pass the state Senate. Had it passed, the state would have been the first in the nation to have them. San Francisco was hoping to start one modeled after the one in Vancouver. One senator said they’d be “shooting galleries for street heroin,” yet another implied they centers would be a heck of a lot better in helping people “get off drugs and lead healthy, successful lives” than what’s happening now.
Supervised Consumption Facilities
Yet this year it looks as if cities are taking matters into their own hands, according to the CNN article. In February, The San Francisco Department of Public Health “unanimously endorsed a task force’s recommendation” to open a center. About 22,000 people have overdosed in the city, and in 2017, 100 people died of an overdose there. The mayor said that the sites aren’t ideal, but they’re a necessity with the current opioid epidemic. Two are scheduled to open in San Francisco in July. For people wanting statistics on the likelihood of these centers’ “success,” the article has this: “More than 100 peer-reviewed studies on safe injection sites — otherwise known as supervised consumption facilities — have consistently shown them to be effective at reducing overdose deaths, preventing transmission of HIV and viral hepatitis, reducing street-based drug use and linking people to drug treatment and other services.” They can also save cities money, which is not to say they’re a good solution to an overwhelming problem.
The video accompanying the CNN article showed an overdose victim being revived with Narcan. It was rewarding to see her “come to,” but on the other hand, it was quite upsetting to see her so out of it initially. The video also explained (and showed) what happens to your body during an overdose, which makes a viewer wish that those hooked on opioids would watch it and consider rehab. New York is having its own its own problems trying to get injection sites, as this headline indicates: De Blasio’s Plan for Safe Drug Injection Sites Faces Substantial Hurdles. The mayor would like four initially, but according to the articles, the federal government may determine that the plan “violate(s) the nation’s drug laws.” A spokesperson pointed to what happened in Vermont, where the U.S. Attorney for the state cautioned officials who want the centers about legal repercussions (see below).
Rehab Centers in California
Besides New York, other cities such as Seattle and Baltimore, are moving toward opening sites. Philadelphia has publicly announced that they’d like private companies to set up shop in their city. The Vermont federal prosecutor decreed that using illicit narcotics and managing and maintaining sites on which drugs are used and distributed, is illegal, and would expose workers and drug users to criminal charges. Not only that, but the properties where the centers were located could also be forfeited. De Blasio practically pleaded for the centers, saying they would save lives (and prevent up to 130 overdoses a year). (Last year, the city had over 1,400 overdose deaths.) Around the same time as he appeared on TV, a woman reported that she got clean with the help of a safe injection site but didn’t go into detail. It’s difficult to fully understand the politics, or the weight different government bodies hold in the dispute. How could California try to pass a bill in favor of the sites, when the federal government would likely swoop in as it did in Vermont? And how are cities inviting the centers in when they likely would be stomping on federal law, too? You wonder, as the opioid epidemic rages on, what will happen. For more information contact our top rehab center in California at (866) 569-9391.