By: Shannon Persad
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Nation’s First Supervised Injection Site Is Underway
With controversy and legal battles, a non-profit in Philadelphia fought to become the first supervised injection site.
According to their website, Safehouse:
“Safehouse is a privately funded, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation whose mission is to save lives by providing a range of overdose prevention services.
The leaders and organizers of Safehouse are motivated by the Judeo-Christian beliefs ingrained in us from our religious schooling, our devout families and our practices of worship. At the core of our faith is the principle that preservation of human life overrides any other considerations.”
Philadelphia is suffering from the opioid crisis and wants to reduce the number of overdose deaths, saving lives. The Department of Justice has tried to block this operation, but later a judge ruled the injection site does not violate federal drug laws.
Why an Injection Site?
According to Safehouse:
“Safehouse is one element of a much-needed comprehensive plan to address a public health crisis. The organization seeks to open the first safe injection site in the U.S. providing a range of overdose prevention services, including safe consumption and observation rooms staffed by a medical staff prepared to administer overdose reversal if needed. Additional services would include on-site initiation of Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT), recovery counseling, education about substance use treatment, basic medical services, and referrals to support services such as housing, public benefits, and legal services.”
What is an injection site? According to NPR:
“Used in Canada and parts of Europe, a supervised injection site is a space in which drug users bring their own drugs and administer them while under the watch of medical staff armed with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone.”
Safehouse is the first in the United States, which may signal, will there be more supervised injection sites?
How to Get Help for Opioid Addiction
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “2018 data shows that every day, 128 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.” That doesn’t have to be you.
If you or someone you know is suffering from opioid addiction or any other substance abuse, contact ATSI at 1-(855)-498-2121 for a confidential consultation.