Safe Injection Sites: A Radical New Approach To Battling Addiction | TODAY

Safe Injection Sites: A Radical New Approach To Battling Addiction | TODAY


>>AND THAT’S YOUR LATEST
WEATHER. GUYS?
>>ALL RIGHT, AL. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
>>>GOING TO TURN TO OUR SPECIAL ONGOING SERIES, WE CALL
“UNDERCOVERED.” WE LOOK AT BATTLING ADDICTION.
>>ROMAN FARROW IS HERE. HE’S LOOKING AT STORIES TIED TO
THE WAR ON DRUG. YOU DON’T SEE THESE IN THE
HEADLINES. >>Reporter: GOOD MORNING.
WE’RE AT A TURNING POINT HOW AMERICA ADDRESSES DRUGS AND
ADDICTION. A FEW DAYS AGO, ATTORNEY GENERAL
JEFF SESSIONS ORDERED HARSHER SENTENCES FOR DRUG OFFENDERS.
BUT SOME STATES AND CITIES ARE PUSHING BACK WITH APPROACHES
THAT EMPHASIZE TREATMENT RATHER THAN CRIMINALIZATION.
AMERICA’S OPIOID EPIDEMIC IS CLAIMING MORE LIVES THAN EVER.
OFTEN IN PUBLIC PLACES. >>PEOPLE ARE IN DOORWAYS
SHOOTING UP, DYING AND DYING IN ALLEYS.
>>Reporter: JOHN IS THE SHERIFF OF SEATTLE AND SURROUNDING KING
COUNTY, WHERE SOMEONE DIES FROM AN OPIOID OVERDOSE EVERY 36
HOURS. AND OFFICIALS ARE GOING TO TRY A
RADICAL RESPONSE. >>TAKE IT OFF OF THE STREETS
AND PUT IT IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT.
>>Reporter: HE’S TALKING ABOUT SAFE INJECTION SITES WHERE
ADDICTS CAN INJECT IN A SAFE SITUATION.
>>THEY CAN TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT THEIR TREATMENT OPTIONS
ARE. >>Reporter: SEATTLE AND KING
COUNTY ARE LOOKING AT THE CRISIS AND ACTING ON THE
RECOMMENDATION. TO OPEN THE FIRST TWO SAFE
INJECTION SITES IN THE COUNTRY. WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU
HEARD THIS BEING FLOATED? >>MY REACTION WAS, THIS IS A
TERRIBLE IDEA. >>Reporter: WHAT CHANGED YOUR
THINKING? >>THE WAR ON DRUGS, THE FACT IT
DIDN’T WORK. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO
DIFFERENTLY? >>Reporter: THE WAR ON DRUGS,
KICKED OFF BY PRESIDENT NIXON IN THE 1970s, STARTED A TREND OF
TOUGH LAWS THAT LOCK UP DRUG OFFENDERS.
MORE PEOPLE ARE INCARCERATED FOR DRUG CRIMES THAN FOR VIOLENT
CRIMES, DISPROPORTIONATELY MINORITIES AND POOR PEOPLE.
BUT ADDICTION RATES HAVE STAYED CONSTANT.
>>WE’RE JUST STARTING TO QUIT LOOKING AT DRUG ABUSE AS A
POLICE PROBLEM AND LOOK AT IT AS A HEALTH PROBLEM.
>>Reporter: COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER DR. JEFFREY DUCHIN IS
PART OF THE TASK FORCE. SOME WILL HEAR ABOUT THIS IDEA
AND FIND IT CRAZY. >>WE’RE CONSIDERING THIS A
PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS. IT MAKES SENSE FROM A PUBLIC
HEALTH AND MEDICAL PERSPECTIVE. >>Reporter: HE SAYS SAFE
INJUNCTION SITES HAVE WORKED ELSEWHERE.
IN THE HEART OF VANCOUVER’S SKID ROW, OFFICIALS OPENED UP A SAFE
INJECTION SITE. EVERY DAY, 700 USER COME IN, GET
CLEAN NEEDLES, CHOOSE ONE OF THE STALLS AND SHOOT THEIR DRUGS.
MORE THAN 4,000 PEOPLE HAVE OVERDOSED.
NOT ONE HAS DIED. >>THIS IS A BEFORE AND AFTER
PICTURE OF ME. THIS IS WHEN I WAS ACTIVELY
USING DRUGS. AND THIS IS MY NOW.
>>Reporter: GUY SAYS HE CAME HERE THOUSANDS OF TIMES.
AND OVERDOSED FIVE. >>THIS IS WHERE I OVERDOSED
HERE THE I WAS ON THIS FLOOR RIGHT HERE.
A NURSE, THROUGH HER
INTERVENTIONS, BROUGHT ME BACK TO LIFE THE AND I RECEIVED
TREATMENT OPTIONS AND CHANGED MY LIFE.
>>Reporter: TODAY, HE IS FOUR YEARS SOBER AND HAPPILY MARRIED
WITH KIDS AND A JOB. >>COMPASSION IS ONE OF THE
GREATEST GIFTS OF THE WORLD. >>Reporter: SIMILAR SITES ARE
OPERATED ACROSS EUROPE AND AUSTRALIA.
AND SOME EXPERTS SAY THEY’RE WORKING.
DR. SARAH WAKEMAN WROTE, THE CASE FOR SUPERVISED INJECTION
FACILITIES IN “THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE.”
>>WE HAVE PROMISING EVIDENCE FROM SITES AND OTHER COUNTRIES
TO SHOW THIS IS A PIECE OF THE BROADER STRATEGY.
>>Reporter: MANY THINK THIS IS AED BAD IDEA.
>>WHAT HAPPENS, IS YOU BRING MORE ADDICTS TO YOUR LOCATION.
>>Reporter: GRETCHEN TAYLOR IS A MEMBER OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD
SAFETY ALLIANCE OF SEATTLE. FOR HER, THIS IS PERSONAL.
>>I’M THE PARENT OF AN ADULT ONGOING HEROIN USER.
>>Reporter: WHAT DO YOU SAY TO PARENTS WHO SAY, YOU KNOW, I,
TOO, FEAR FOR MY CHILD AND I THINK THIS MIGHT SAVE THEM?
>>I WANT THAT TO BE TRUE. AND THE TRUTH IS, I DON’T
BELIEVE THAT IS TRUE. >>Reporter: A NEW BILL
INTRODUCED IN THE WASHINGTON SENATE, SEEKS TO BAN THE SAFE
INJECTION SITE. STATE SENATOR MARK ME LOGGIA IS
BEHIND IT. >>THEY’VE LEGALIZED HEROIN USE.
SAFE SITES ARE A BAD IDEA. >>Reporter: WITH JEFF SESSIONS
PUSHING A TOUGH LAW ENFORCEMENT APPROACH ON DRUGS, THERE’S
QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW THEY WILL REACT.
THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT IS AGAINST PLACES LIKE THIS WHERE
YOU HAVE PEOPLE USING DRUGS INSIDE.
CAN YOU BE ASKING YOUR OFFICERS TO ENFORCE ILLEGAL ACTIVITY
HERE? >>I’M NOT GOING TO LET OUR
EFFORTS BE DICTATED BY WHAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MAY OR MAY
NOT DO. >>Reporter: OUR NEW ATTORNEY
GENERAL IS ALL ABOUT LAW ENFORCEMENT APPROACHES TO DRUGS
AND LESS ABOUT PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACHES.
>>THAT’S PROBABLY TRUE. I THINK IT’S A HUGE MISTAKE.
IS IT GOING TO WORK? I DON’T KNOW.
BUT IT’S BETTER THAN DOING NOTHING.
WE’VE DONE NOTHING BUT TRY TO PUT PEOPLE IN JAIL, WHICH
DOESN’T WORK. >>Reporter: THE DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE DID NOT COMMENT ON THIS STORY.
LIKELY TO BE ON THE RADAR SOON, THOUGH.
THERE’S SAFE INJECTION SITES BEING CONSIDERED IN SAN
FRANCISCO, PHILADELPHIA, MASSACHUSETTS, NEW YORK ACTUALLY
APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR ONE WHETHER WE SHOULD HAVE ONE RIGHT
HERE. >>THIS COULD GET A DEBATE
REALLY GOING. THERE’S A LOT OF DIFFERENT SIDES
TO WHETHER OR NOT THIS IS A GOOD IDEA.
>>IT WORKS FOR SAVING LIVES, WHICH WE WERE DISCUSSING.
BUT THE BROADER IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITIES HAS YET TO BE
DECIDED. >>THERE’S GOING TO BE PEOPLE
WHO CAN’T GET THEIR HEAD AROUND THE IDEA OF TRYING TO STOP
PEOPLE BY DOING DRUGS BY GIVING THEM A SAFE PLACE TO DO DRUGS.
>>WE HAVE AN ADMINISTRATIONN CRIMINALIZING A TOUGHER
APPROACH. THERE’S PEOPLE THAT SAY YOU JUST
MITIGATE THE DOWN SIDE. >>WHAT DO WE HAVE TOMORROW?
>>THAT’S RIGHT. WE’RE HAVE A CONTROVERSIAL ONE.
YOU MAY FIND IT SURPRISING. REHABILITATION CENTERS THAT ARE
USING MARIJUANA TO GET PEOPLE OFF OF HEROI

42 comments

  1. What about the ppl who go there to shot up leve the kids at home is this a good thing or BAD it all up to u ….think is it bad to help or what they do …

  2. Lmfao typical hoyiler then tho comments from the yt commuinity. I'm no longer a user but Sydney Injection rooms made sure I didn't OD. They've stopped so many deaths and public injections and help people get off the gear if they seek help plus create jobs. Y'all backwards af for putting sick people in jail instead of helping them. Hahaa

  3. So wait…I can go shoot heroin and get help doing it…no problem… and then go down the street to work and hand out a straw and get fined and up to 3 months in jail?  How is a hyper D needle more available legally than a straw?

  4. 0_o billions in tax revenue to do WHAT??? WE ARE GIVING JUNKIES CLEAN NEEDLES TO DOPE THEMSELVES WITH ? ARE YOU KIDDING ME ???? THEY DON'T NEED CLEAN NEEDLES ! THEY NEED REHAB! THEY'D MIGHT AS WELL START GIVING PEOPLE FREE CIGARETTES , FREE BOWLS AND BONGS , FREE METH PIPES WHILE THEY ARE AT IT !

  5. Would you rather your drug addicted relative using a dirty needle to shoot up a street drug in a public park, or would you rather them go to the safe injection site? If you think no relative or friend of yours has a drug problem, you’re probably in for a big surprise. Every last one of us will have our lives affected by addiction at some point.

  6. Can crackheads can go there also or just people on heroin?

    At the core making this is making drugs legal and state sanctioned.

  7. I believe that these safe injection sites, while they may seem counterintuitive, are a great start to combatting the drug-related deaths many cities are seeing. In fact, there are similar facilities in Europe that have conducted studies that support the positive impact of these sites such as decreased used syringes in public, increased participation in rehabilitation programs, and decreased rates of drug-related crimes (http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/topics/pods/drug-consumption-rooms). I understand that opponents of this approach have the best intentions of wanting to limit the effect of illicit drugs on our community. However, I think it’s important to see that both sides aim to fulfill the same ethical principle of beneficence. To clarify, beneficence is the concept of not only preventing harm to others (whether it is done by yourself or someone else) but also promoting good. In this case, it might not be clear how these sites are preventing harm or promoting good since it seems like these sites are sanctioning illegal drug use that harms users and possibly the community. From this perspective, I see why people would advocate against these sites. However, I will try to explain my justification as someone who is in the healthcare field who aims for beneficence. The way I see it, I have a duty to protect the health of others due to the nature of my profession and personal ethical beliefs. I can’t stop drug users from participating, but if they’re going to do it anyway, why not offer a setting that can prevent further loss of life? According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 68,690 deaths from drug overdoses from March 2017 to March 2018 (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm). If these sites can help lower that number, there are that many more people who have a chance to take a new path in life. These sites can also be beneficial because it creates a judgment-free zone which can encourage users to not be controlled by shame which may cause them to further turn to drugs, but an opportunity to reflect and be empowered to change their ways through professional on-site counselors. Addiction is a form of mental illness and just like these other illnesses such as depression or schizophrenia, it’s not going to be solved by imprisoning, shaming, and isolating people. It’s a long process to recovery, but these sites can help facilitate the conversation about overcoming addiction. These sites can provide resources to minimize drug-related deaths and disease, to present options for treatment, and to ultimately do more for addiction than the “war on drugs” has done.

  8. Wait if usage of drugs will be legalized and even encouraged in these places are we just going to let drug dealers become legal now too?

  9. "Over 4,000 people have overdosed, not 1 has died"
    I guess that's impressive in a medical perspective, but how exactly does this help get rid of the drug issue?

  10. How do mass murderers get to go to hospitals when convicted, but drug addicts WHO CAN ACTUALLY BE CURED are locked in concrete boxes.

  11. If certain test sites are implemented, then we can observe these drug havens and actually track and establish statistics to show that they work, or they don't work.
    I'd they don't work, was there any real harm done? If they do work, well then we just made a huge step in ACTUALLY winning the war on drugs.

  12. I would just let the heroin addicts cull thier own numbers why should the tax payer support these peoples addictions.

  13. Come on I'm from Canada and I think we live in one of the best countries in the world where the U.S like to put people in jail because there sick Heroin , opiates or any drugs should be in the hands of Healthcare and not in the hands of the police. Like here in Canada we are getting the system ready for doctors in a supervised environment only for prescription heroin for only a few addicts that didn't respond to methadone or other programs! So basically I wanted to take the time to write this because the U.S think that drugs are legal in Canada the heroin is legal that anyone could get some heroin at the doctors office …Well that's wrong guy's yes prescription heroin will be a tool for doctors to help addicts dying maybe someday it could be your kid or loved one is addicted to a drug that's been lace with fentanyl or carfentanyl . God bless I hope that someday your government will see the other picture!

  14. The only reason they are trying to aid these people is because its damaging the white middle class mostly. When crack was killing blacks and they were smoking in the streets all they got was jail time. This country will go above and beyond, bend over backwards to protect their people and neglect everything else

  15. These politicians are fckng idiots!! Let's give them fresh needles and a safe place to INJECT THEMSELVES WITH HEROIN!!

    why don't they just set up a heroin dispensing machine on site as well !!

    Fckng idiots, and on top of that let the California tax payers pay the bill

  16. I have a mixed feeling about this. I don't want to support this, but I think this decision could make San Francisco cleaner…and waste less money on cleaning, emergency medical tax expenses. I still believe we need mental health facility more than this.

  17. They don’t put drug addicts and dealers to jail much in Canada. They just get a legal aid lawyer and are back on the streets to rob you blind, and poison lots of people!

  18. War on drugs does not work people get it through your skull. I have no problem with people trying new ways to combat what is a national health crisis. These places save lives and offer treatment options most importantly. We must show compassion but I know that's hard for many to do which is sad.

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