Safe injection sites are a harm-reduction measure shown to dramatically decrease overdose deaths by placing trained, nonjudgmental observers in a position to reverse accidental overdoses. The science shows that contrary to Lisa DuFour’s assertion, they do not increase or encourage drug use. Moreover, they have been shown to facilitate users accessing treatment programs when they might not otherwise have done so.
As more than a decade of experience and scientific publications from InSite in Vancouver, B.C., have shown, safe injection sites do not increase or encourage drug use in surrounding communities. Among a myriad benefits well delineated in numerous prestigious medical journals, they do limit disease transmission among users, which amounts to a substantial public-health savings in the cost of caring for new HIV and hepatitis C infections. They have also been shown to improve public order and safety in areas of high drug use by getting injection users off the streets.
As our own eyes and experience show us, we do not decrease drug use or help users by marginalization.
Nancy Connolly, M.D., Seattle
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