safe house for heroin injection

A Safe House for Heroin Injection May Not Be the Cure

A Safe House for Heroin Injection May Not Be the Cure

Drug abuse is illegal in most places. But some countries in Europe are making the unhealthy vice more acceptable through “safe injections sites” in a bid to protect users against possible overdose. The same concept is on its way to the United States, which can have serious consequences, especially where heroin use is concerned. Is safe house for heroin injection really the solution to ensure heroin users stay safe and alive for longer?

Facts about Heroin

Heroin, also called dope, junk, horse, and smack, is an opioid made from morphine. It is often injected, snorted or smoked. When it enters the brain, it transforms back into morphine and binds to brain receptors linked to feelings of pain and pleasure, creating a feeling of euphoria.

Heroin is highly addictive and can lead to an overdose that could result in death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 13,000 people died of a heroin-related overdose in 2015. Most deaths involve males aged 25-44.

Safe Injection Sites in the US

Massachusetts and California are just two of the cities in the US that recommend the use of a safe house for heroin injection. The former has yet to make a vote, while the latter already has a bill that is just waiting to be passed.

The goal is to provide heroin users access to clean and safe injections that they can use and have a legally-sanctioned room where they can ride out their high under the supervision of a nurse or doctor. Supervised drug consumption facilities already exist in Europe, but has yet to be available in the US.

Are Safe Injection Sites the Answer?

In 2015, about 33,000 Americans died from an overdose of opioid use, which is a result of a deadly, and widespread opioid abuse. Prescription drugs OxyContin and Vicodin deliver similar effects as heroin, which is why most people who abuse them ended up using heroin.

Officials in California and anywhere else in the US are simply looking for ways to deal with a deadly epidemic, and safe injection sites could be the answer. According to Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, the facilities will keep addicts from infections due to use of unclean injections and from assaults.

She also pointed how this can limit the number of needles being thrown on the streets and then used by someone else, resulting in infections and, in worse cases, contracting HIV and hepatitis C. It is a fact that heroin users that inject drugs are at risk of getting HIV and HCV through the needles they use or share with someone else.

But legislative director for the California State Sheriffs’ Association, Cory Salzillo, voiced concerns over what happens after a person leaves the facility. The aftereffects are still there, but the monitoring is no longer available. He also said that opening injection sites sends the wrong message and may even create liability issues.

There’s also a huge possibility that heroin addicts converging in one place will allow them to network with other addicts, have better and easier access to the drugs, and any hope of them getting better or opting for rehabilitation is lost.

Is a safe house for heroin injection really the answer?


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