North America’s Only Legal Safe-Injection Site Continues to Stir Controversy

North America’s only government-sanctioned facility that medically supervises the injection of illegal drugs, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, continues to stir controversy, according to CNN.

People addicted to drugs can bring and use them at the facility, called InSite, without risking arrest. Some people line up two or three times a day to use one of the facility’s injection booths, the article notes. They are given clean needles to reduce the spread of infections such as HIV and hepatitis C, and are supervised by a nurse as they inject themselves.

In 2011, the medical journal The Lancet published a study that found InSite reduced fatal overdoses by 35 percent in a neighborhood that has one of Canada’s highest rates of drug addiction. InSite, funded by taxpayers, says that for every tax dollar spent, four are saved, by preventing more expensive medical care in the future.

The Canadian federal government does not support the facility, according to CNN. In 2011, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled in favor of keeping InSite open, against the wishes of the federal government. The court said the facility provides people with drug addiction access to the same healthcare as other Canadian citizens.

A study that evaluated the viability of injection rooms in Ontario province recommended three sites in Toronto, and two in Ottawa. Toronto’s city administration rejected the findings.

Injection rooms operate in countries including Switzerland, Australia, Norway, Spain and Germany.

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    March 31, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    As a heroin addict myself, i strongly feel this is the solution to the war on drugs. The heroin dispensed in these programs is 100% pure. I would only need to shoot up twice a day instead of six. I would not have the necessity to steel to suport my habit. I could get it for free. My parents would not have to constantly fear the call that ive died from an overdose. They would have the comfort knowing im safe. I would get resources i personally cannot afford. As i trully want to get clean i just cant. Ive relapsed too many times to count. From experience about 60 percent of youth my age in jail are there for non violent drug offences which were only committed out of necessity. No one wants to commit these crimes to support there habit. If i could get free uncut heroin i would never brake another law again. It trully isnt me. Im a laid back guy who detests drama and confrontation. Most heroin users are the same. These programs would allow me to get and hold a job without the fear of losing it cause of repeated sick days taken due to withdrawal. I could get off the streets and be a productive member of society again. This program would get many homeless off the streets, allow them to get jobs and pay taxes instead of benefiting off them. Please give safe injection sites a try.

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    April 12, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    if they stopped using then we would so much more than four dollars

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    Joe Lite

    April 11, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Let me see, 35% reduction in fatal overdoses, $4 saved in medical expenses saved for every $1 program cost…where is the controversy that is continued to be stirred?

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