Some countries, such as Canada, have needle exchange programs. These are facilities where addicts can exchange used needles from drug injections for clean ones. These programs provide a safe injection site for addicts where they can use substances without fear of judgement or prosecution, while also preventing the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. One mayor wants to bring this practice to the United States to slow the spread of disease and reduce overdoses in the country.
Ithaca Safe Injection Site for Addicts
Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick wants his city to be the first city in the U.S. to provide a safe injection site for addicts, which could offer opiate addicts clean needles and a safe place to use, without prosecution from authorities. Myrick says this facility would have licensed physicians or nurses in the staff who can administer Narcan if an overdose occurs. The facility would also direct addicts to addiction treatment centers and serves as part of a comprehensive approach that deals with addiction from a more public health-driven perspective.
Myrick says “This part of the plan is about keeping people alive, helping them get treatment, helping them get better, but in the meantime making sure that they live long enough to get that treatment”.
Myrick stills needs permission from the state to open this facility. While this may seem like a radical approach to some, it has implemented in other countries and has proven to be effective in reducing the transmission of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C, as well as preventing deaths from fatal overdoses. Canada opened its first supervised injection facility in Vancouver in 2003. Roughly 800 users visit it daily. Dr. Patricia Daly, the chief medical officer at Vancouver Coastal Health, which operates the facility, says that between 10 and 20 addicts overdose there every week, but nobody has died.
The first supervised injection facility was opened in Switzerland and they have further been opened in other European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Luxemburg, Denmark and Greece.
Treatment at Morningside Recovery
Morningside Recovery is among the leading addiction treatment providers in the country and offers a variety of services to help those struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. We offer traditional 12 step and alternative treatment options. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and in need of help, please don’t hesitate to call us. You may reach us anytime at 855-631-2135. Our treatment specialists will assist you in finding the right treatment option for you.