San Francisco Considers Nation's First Safe Injection Site for Addicts

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Taximom, Oct 19, 2007.

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Would this "safe site" decrease the amount of overdose fatalities?

Poll closed Oct 29, 2007.
  1. Yes

    15 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. No

    26 vote(s)
    57.8%
  3. I don't know

    4 vote(s)
    8.9%
  1. Taximom

    Taximom Former Member

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    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,303425,00.html
    San Francisco Considers Nation's First Safe Injection Site for Addicts
    Thursday, October 18, 2007
    SAN FRANCISCO — City health officials took the first tentative steps toward opening America's first legal safe-injection room, where addicts could shoot up heroin, cocaine and other drugs under the supervision of nurses.
    Hoping to reduce San Francisco's high rate of fatal drug overdoses, the public health department co-sponsored a symposium Thursday on the only such facility in North America, a 4-year-old Vancouver site where an estimated 700 intravenous users a day self-administer narcotics.
    Hundreds of community activists and health workers attending the forum also discussed what it would take to get a similar service going here and heard recovering addicts talk about why they think it is a good idea.
    Organizers of the daylong forum, which included a coalition of nonprofit health and social-service groups, acknowledge that it could take years to get an injection facility up and running. Along with legal hurdles at the state and federal level, such an effort would be almost sure to face political opposition. (more at link)
     
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  3. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    I saw this on the news this morning. This has GOT to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard of!!!!! :confused: :confused:
     
  4. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    I wobble back and forth on this one with my stronger leaning being in favor of such facilities. Certainly, they make sense from a public health standpoint because less people will die or be infected by dirty needles.

    Addiction is now medically classified, studied and treated as a disease. And it's a disease that causes lots of problems for this nation. I'm in favor of looking for alternative ways (like the ones put forth in this article) of addressing the many public and private health problems caused by this disease, as opposed to the joke that is our nation's "War on Drugs."

    In the article, Bertha Madras of the National Drug Control Policy doesn't like the idea of such a place for addicts and says : "The underlying philosophy is, 'We accept drug addiction, we accept the state of affairs as acceptable.' This is a form of giving up."

    That makes no sense to me. We must accept drug addiction - it's a fact of life and as real as cancer.

    When I read stuff like this:

    "Thomas Kerr, a University of British Columbia researcher who has studied the program, said that while 800 overdoses have occurred on the premises, none resulted in death because of the medical supervision provided at InSite. His research also has shown an increase in addicts seeking drug treatment and a decrease in abandoned syringes, needle-sharing, drug-related crime and other problems since the clinic opened, he said."

    I do think such facilities should be investigated and considered. I'm glad San Francisco is doing that.

    My question has always been: how are these places allowed to operate under the law when drug possession and use is against the law?
    /**/
     
  5. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    I do agree with the needle swap program; however, I draw the line on a medical person standing by to make sure they don't overdose. We've got law abiding citizens who need medical assistance that cannot get it. Why should we provide it for people breaking the law? Our military veterans, children, elderly. Those are the people whom these medical providers should be concentrating.
     
  6. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    That's certainly a great point and I won't aruge against it. But would you make the arguement that medical providers who work in methadone clinics or abortion clinics (or other environments where controversial healthcare takes place) should leave those jobs and move to a job where they could treat veterans, children, the elderly?

    Like everyone else, medical providers are attracted to the fields they are attracted to for many different reasons. It might be more rewarding to certain RNs to stop an addict from dying than to administer vaccinations. Is such an RN less valuable and noble?

    I don't have any solutions to our overall healthcare woes here. I wish we had a national system where all citizens were covered.
     
  7. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    I agree with you, but methadone clinics are legal, whereas shooting up heroin is not. So, having a medical professional stand around and watch that is not acceptable. As for your abortion reference, I'm not even going there because it has nothing to do with this topic. Having a heathcare system where all of our citizens is covered is not something that I support.
     
  8. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    From a legal perspective, do you know how they are allowed to operate? As you point out, possessing and using drugs is illegal, so how do we make it legal to have a safe place to go to do something illegal?
     
  9. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    Handing out clean needles is not illegal.
     
  10. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    Yes, but these places also allow you to shoot up and chill out - I am assuming they are allowing you this luxury with the promise that the police will not show up and throw you in jail.

    I guess my question is what is the legal difference between a place like this and a crack house?
     
  11. calus_3

    calus_3 Former Member

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    San Fransisco is the most universallly f%#$@# up City on the entire planet.

    Cal
     
  12. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    Are you sure about that? Methadone is liquid that one drinks, no? I'm not saying you don't know what you're talking about, but I honestly don't think that they allow patients to shoot up on the premises.:confused:
     
  13. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    I'm not being very clear! I'm talking about the type of place they are considering opening in San Francisco - the article says addicts could go there and shoot up and chill out under medical supervision. My question is - how can that be legal?

    Yes - methadone in clinics is usually liquid poured into orange juice - but this type of place that the article is talking about is very different from that. It's the legality of the type of place in the article that I am questioning in light of our drug laws.
     
  14. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    I don't think that it CAN be legal. Not only that, but I would think that the liability issues would be astronomical with regard to lawsuits.
     
  15. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    So how have they made it "legal" Vancouver - where they have clinics such as this one. It's my understanding that Vancouver's drug laws are very similar to ours.

    The article says 65+ of these types of clinics exist in eight different countries. I can't imagine San Francisco would truly be considering this and having a symposium on it if they didn't think they could get away with it legally....
     
  16. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    That's a good question, but we're in the United States, so what they do in Vancouver has nothing to with us.
     
  17. Hopeful One

    Hopeful One Blessed are the cracked for they are the ones who

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    This idea is absolutely ridiculous.
     
  18. Buzz Mills

    Buzz Mills New Member

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    After all, it's San Francisco, which functions a lot differently than most cities in the U.S., and that is putting it mildly.

    San Francisco, San Jose, and Santa Cruz, are all, also, sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants.
     
  19. imthemom

    imthemom New Member

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    I hope you are not insenuating that all illegal immigrants are drug users and the reason for this problem.
     
  20. imthemom

    imthemom New Member

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    I think that police could go in and arrest them anytime also. They know they are in there doing illegal things. This seems really strange to me. I see that people are wanting to help them but shouldn't they try to help get them clean, not help them shoot up. I am all for helping the less fortunate and people with problems but I'm not sure about this one.
     
  21. Jeana (DP)

    Jeana (DP) Former Member

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    I very seriously doubt that this was Buzz's insinuation.
     

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