Image source: murray.seattle.gov
A safe injection site is a room set aside to allow intravenous drug users to inject themselves under medical supervision. Opening safe injection sites for intravenous drug user’s helps reduce health and societal risks associated with drug injections. The facilities offer health care, counseling, and referral to social services for drug abuse treatment.
Safe injections sites are met with a lot of opposition. Some proponents believe that it helps eradicate drug addiction whereas other prominent believe the sites do nothing to deter drug abuse or even help those recovering from the addict. Let’s look at the pros and cons of the safe injection centers to help you understand.
1. Supervised environment: Safe injection sites are supervised environments in which the health care professional monitor injections of intravenous drug uses.
2. Reduce spread of diseases: The sites provide clean syringes to the drug users to reduce the spread of blood-borne diseases like Hepatitis B and HIV.
3. Reduce crimes: Safe injection sites helps reduce crime rates and this benefits the community.
4. Therapy section: These sites are the best option for providing quick opioid replacement therapy for intravenous drug users.
5. Intravenous users feel safer: Some reports show that recovering addicts felt physically and psychological safer using safe injection centers as opposed to injecting in the streets. It helps reduce sexual harassment and rapes in the streets.
6. Safe drug preparation: The site offer a safer drug preparation and hygienic space injection to all the drug users. It also reduces unnecessary deaths on the streets.
7. Improve injection behavior: These medical facilities improve the injection behaviors of the addicts and can also contribute to recovery process.
8. Stepping stone to treatment: The supervised injection sites act as the right step towards detox and treatment of addicts. It connects recovering addicts with treatment services and enforcement to help curb the addiction.
9. Reduce overdose: Supervised injections help reduce overdose of the illicit drugs. Health professionals can intervene in case of overdose and prevent overdose complicated issues like death.
10. Sustain addiction: The drug facilities can help sustain addiction by increasing the number of individuals initiating treatment.
1. Encourage drug use: Due to the quality drugs and safety provided at the facilities, it can encourage more drug use making the facilities a threat to public safety.
2. Discourage treatment: Opening the safe options for illegal drug use can discourage treatment over drug addiction to people and any effort to curb illicit drug use.
3. Challenge federal control: Federal government can lose control over drug policy and this may affect the uniformity of regulating the safe injection sites.
4. Violation of US federal laws: Opening the facilities for the illegal is in violation of US federal laws and anyone who opens the site will face legal action.
5. Biased studies on safe injection: Some experts argue that several research studies about safe injection sites prevent deadly diseases and overdose are unbiased and unreliable.
6. Drug trafficking issues: Some studies indicate that safe injection does not increase the arrest of drug trafficking, robberies, and assault in the surrounding community although the validity of this claim is unknown.
7. Increase violence: Opening a safe injection site has changed the neighborhoods to worst. The drug addicts become extremely violent in order to get the drug. They can beat people up to get money.
8. Expensive: Setting up a safe injection site requires the building of rehabilitation centers with services which will enable addicts to recover their addiction and this may turn out to be expensive.