Rhode Island marches ahead, becoming the first state allowing for safe injection sites to be constructed in support of drug users, as the existence of the aforementioned is supposed to reduce the statistic of overdoses.
The facility would also provide the favor of testing the addict’s drugs for fentanyl, which is commonly laced into heroin and directly connected to last year’s staggering number of overdose-related deaths in the country.
The creation of such facilities was heavily frowned upon by critics, claiming that they are a way to encourage the use and abuse of illegal drugs, as well as a step in the wrong direction in the still ongoing war on drugs in America.
One of the critics was Democratic representative Arthur Corvese, who laughed at the idea of the sites themselves, calling them a moral oxymoron as the number of drug-related incarcerations grows every year, yet the state decides to create a facility that would essentially distribute the drug themselves.
Others, however, were in support of the idea, claiming that the spaces would somehow protect the users and get the addicts off the city streets, separating the two terms for unknown reasons.
An associate professor at DePaul University in Chicago, Suzanne Carlberg-Racich even claimed that the US has always punished health condition-related behavior, failing to explain how drug abuse would classify as a health condition, to begin with.
Another proponent, and inadvertently, the person who advocated for the sites to be built, State representative Edith Ajello connected her rationale to personal experiences, pointing at the death of her best friend’s son, which was caused by an overdose.
As of now California and Massachusetts are considering implementing the facilities as well, following the idea that many of their kind already exist in Canada, Australia, and Europe, namely the Netherlands with over 40 locations for addicts to shoot up safely.
Sugarcoating is an obvious issue with the idea
The facility plans to help addicts inject heroin and methamphetamine in a safe and clean environment, possibly administered by trained staff if the user should allow them to.
They plan for the sites to be fully equipped with naloxone, a drug commonly used in reversing intravenous drug-related overdoses, which does seem a bit redundant as the sites themselves are planned as a way of reducing the number of overdoses.
Executive director of the Rhode Island public health institute, Amy Nunn showed concern for the matter, stating that even if the sites were ever to open, they would face many roadblocks as the community is rattled with stigma related to drug abuse, and rightfully so.
She then added that the group is open to donations, as they still struggle to find funding for the supposed projects.
Unlike the many other gruesome things the Biden office has cleared for funding, this one didn’t seem to cut it even with Joe himself.
Canada shows concerning statistics as their largest facilities serve upwards of 500 addicts each day, making one wonder just how many there would be should the site in Rhode island start a nationwide trend.
Only last year, Philadelphia officials pushed for the opening of one such facility but were quickly shot down as the state ruled the opening as illegal.
They tried to lift the ban later that year but were stopped dead in their tracks by US attorney William McSwain, runner up to Pennsylvania governor, who pointed at a 1980s era drug law that likened the facility to a crackhouse.
The justice department remained neutral on the matter, leaving no comment on the Biden administration’s opinion on the request either.