Why should taxpayers be burdened with the costs of providing “heroin houses” for drug users to shoot up when we can’t even solve our homeless problem?

Share story

THE idea of creating two safe-consumption sites for drug users is a horrible idea. In speaking about the public-health experiment, King County Executive Dow Constantine was quoted as saying, “put yourself in the place of a parent who is trying to save his or her child. We can put up with a little discomfort in order to be able to help that family heal and help that child recover.”

Speaking as the mother of a child who died from a drug overdose — the last thing a parent wants is another place for their child to abuse drugs! My son was an honor student, went to Mexico to build houses for the poor, worked as a lifeguard and once saved a man’s life. He was a college student with a part-time job and had many friends. Yet he began abusing drugs, and one night he overdosed.

Heroin is illegal. Will the police allow illegal drug use at a “heroin house” and yet arrest people elsewhere who use the same drug? Are police going to wait outside these city-sanctioned drug houses — to protect the drug users entering with illegal drugs — from robbery?

Will there be a weapons check? Will minors be allowed inside? Will identification be checked? If a drug user is at the drug house and another drug user helps with the injection of drugs and the person overdoses — who is going to be sued?

‘My take’

Got something to say about a topic in the news? We’re looking for personal essays with strong opinions. Send your submission of no more than 500 words to oped@seattletimes.com with the subject line “My Take.”

Or what if a visibly pregnant woman wants to use heroin? What if a parent brings a baby with them? Will the medical providers call CPS?

 

A major cause of overdose is the different strengths of drugs and the combination with other drugs like fentanyl. Will the staff test drugs for purity or safety?

And why should taxpayers be burdened with the costs of providing a “heroin house” and paying for the lawsuits when we cannot solve our homeless problem?

Safe injection sites make no sense based on health and personal safety issues for the drug user and other citizens. They do not make any sense based on the critical need for treatment for drug users. Drug users do not need a free government sponsored place to use drugs: They have lots of places to use drugs as shown by the huge increase in illegal drug consumption.

I agree there is a drug crisis and epidemic. We should fight it by increasing access to treatment centers, and first responders should carry naloxone kits. We should promote safe storage and disposal of medications to decrease the availability of drugs. We should increase awareness of the adverse effects of drug use and the possibility of overdoses.

Nothing can bring back my son. He died because he used drugs. But I honestly believe he would have died sooner had there been a free drug house available since it would encourage his addiction. His reasoning would be: King County and the city of Seattle have provided a place for me to use drugs — so drug use is government sponsored.

Plus, it still comes down to one hard fact: Heroin use is illegal.