I found this topic to be particularly interesting due it’s controversial nature. Many individuals have strong opinions about safe- injection sites. Supporters believe that they help regulate health risks while opponents argue that these sites encourage drug-use. This post will explore both sides.
What are safe-injection sites?
Safe injection sites allow drug-users and addicts to use drugs with fresh needles provided by the government. The needles are disposed rather than reused after an individual injects themselves. The aim is to discourage addicts and drug-users from sharing used needles which can lead to transferring diseases.
The Liberal government unlike the former Conservative government supports drug injection sites as they believe safe-injection sites serve a financial and health benefit for Canadians. There have been numerous studies that have supported the ideology that injection sites help reduce the risk of health epidemics such as Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS.
Some additional facts suggest:
1. Treating someone with hepatitis C can cost up to $60,000 over the course of six months (this is typical treatment). Hence, it’s a hefty cost for the government to pay.
2. The use of safe-injection sites has proven to reduce the spread of health epidemics.
3. Nurses watch the addict inject the drug to prevent the user from overdosing. Consequently, statistics suggest that death due to overdosing has also decreased where these sites are used.
4. Insite, a popular safe-injection site in Canada has proven to reduce the spread of infectious diseases and crime within a ten block radius of the safe-injection site
Is it any surprise the Liberal government is interested in this plan?
Conversely, opponents argue that safe-injection sites enable drug-users and provide a safe haven for drug addicts to get their high. It is also argued that addicts should be encouraged to address their addiction rather than provided with a medical practitioner to watch them inject themselves.
Perhaps the most common argument against safe-injection sites is that crime will increase in safe-injection premises and no one wants a safe-injection site in their neighbourhood. The main concern is often the well-being of the children in that particular area – will they be more prone to use drugs?
What do you think? Are there safe-injection sites where you live? How well have they worked?
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