January 5, 2018 – Concerned community members are discouraging officials from a proposal to make Philadelphia the first U.S. city to host a supervised injection site, where individuals could use drugs under medical supervision.
According to WHYY, city officials are discussing a plan behind closed doors to establish a site as a way to curb the opioid epidemic. While much of the focus is on harm reduction, the plan fails to address the disease of addiction which is fueling the drug crisis.
As a leader in the field of treating substance addiction for 70 years, Malvern Institute maintains that there is nothing “safe” about these injection sites. Expanding access to treatment will have the greatest impact to combat the opioid epidemic.
One important voice resisting the proposal is Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, whose district includes the city’s Kensington section:
Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez has publicly said before that she does not support a supervised injection site in her district, which includes Kensington, where officials and advocates hope to launch the program.
It is the same section of the city where city officials last summer began clearing out a decades-old notorious heroin encampment along the Conrail tracks known as “El Campamento,” where hundreds of thousands of used syringes piled high, becoming the visual scourge of the epidemic’s grip on Philadelphia.
Sources say absent support from Quiñones-Sánchez, a plan for a safe-injection site could be scuttled.
“Do we want to now send a message that you can come here and buy the cheapest drugs available and then actually have a place to use them?” she told the BBC last year.
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Read the full story from WHYY.