In 2018, officials in the U.S. city of Philadelphia city proposed opening a “safe haven” in an effort to combat the city's heroin epidemic. In 2016 64,070 people died in the U.S. from drug overdoses - a 21% increase from 2015. 3/4 of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. are caused by the opioid class of drugs which includes prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl. To combat the epidemic cities including Vancouver, BC and Sydney, AUS opened safe havens where addicts can inject drugs under the supervision of medical professionals. The safe havens reduce the overdose death rate by insuring the addicted patients are given drugs that are not contaminated or poisoned. Since 2001 5,900 people have overdosed at a safe haven in Sydney, Australia but no one has died. Proponents argue that the safe havens are the only proven solution to lower the overdose fatality rate and prevent the spread of diseases like HIV-AIDS. Opponents argue that safe havens may encourage illegal drug use and re-direct funding from traditional treatment centers.
Yes, as long as there is a demand, there will always be a supply. We need to look at fixing the demand, instead of using a lot of money perpetually escalating the battle with suppliers. Some countries have great examples of programs like this, with amazing results. We need to invest in people.
Yes, drug addiction should be treated as a health issue. The people of these cities and states should vote to decide whether they want these types of facilities in their community. These facilities should also offer rehabilitation to those who desire it.
Save-havens encourage drug use, so they should not be provided, rather, instead support drug addicted people with rehabilitation programs, with the constant supervision of medical professionals, and a place to stay (as hospitals provide sickly people a place to stay).
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