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Pros and Cons for “Safe Spaces” for Illicit Drug Use

Over 100 facilities worldwide serve as a temporary halt for addicts to enter and consume their illicit drug of choice.

It really is more complicated than that.  These “Supervised Injection Facilities,” also known as SIFs, have been popping up in parts of Europe where the demographic has shown an increase in deaths by drug overdose.  These facilities are equipped with medical personnel who assist the “patient” in injecting drugs such as heroin and are there in the instance that the person slips.

The closest one near to the US is located in Canada.

While there is no benefit to drug abuse, let alone illegal substance abuse, these facilities have shown remarkable improvement among the drug user community in which admission into detox programs has increased.

The opioid epidemic has caused the city of Baltimore millions of dollars in the past decade.  A new study suggests that opening a facility in affected areas such as Baltimore could save the city $6 million a year.

Controlled environments such as SIFs have lowered the amount of users that end with HIV and hepatitis. Overall, overdoses occurring in these facilities have resulted in minimal to no fatalities.

Assemblywoman Susan Eggman introduced a bill earlier this year seeking the same benefits of such facilities in California.  Should the bill pass, cities and counties would be allowed to authorize the creation of facilities.

The topic is very taboo and very divided.  Government officials against these facilities have equated them to holding a person’s cigarette to their lips to ensure that they don’t burn their hands or fingertips, or watching a person with heart disease eat fatty foods to make sure they chew correctly.  The drug user community all seem to believe in this strategy as a good one.  Most will admit to having a problem, and most see it as a wake up call when they enter and find themselves surrounded by people under the influence in a near-corpse-state.  The facilities are not decorated like a treatment center. They are very clinical, often with the installed tables and chairs made from a reflective aluminum that allows the user to surround themselves with a reflection of themselves as they continue to slip into their addiction.


The Daily Beast
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