Bill de Blasio, the mayor of the city, says he will make the decision in the coming days
A few days ago the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, broke his silence on the controversial “sites of safe injection ” and confirmed that the city would reveal a report on the subject very soon.
New York is not the only city in the United States considering opening this type of facility.
At “safe injection sites,” people can use drugs with sterile injection equipment and supervised trained personnel who are ready with the antidote to opioid overdoses, naloxone if something goes wrong.
What is the idea behind these centers? While in an ideal world no one would consume dangerous and potentially deadly drugs, many people do. So, for many, it is better to give these drug users space where they can consume with some kind of supervision. It is a harm reduction approach that tries to avoid overdoses and the transmission of diseases, so common in this type of addiction.
It is a subject, however, very complicated and obviously causes much controversy.
The US Drug Administration (DEA) has warned municipalities that allowing these sites would violate federal law.
Speaking at his weekly radio appearance on WNYC, De Blasio acknowledged that the problem is “complex”, and that he and NYPD are talking to other jurisdictions. “There are very important security issues that need to be addressed,” he said.
It is a very controversial decision although there are studies that already give concrete data of the results of this type of facilities in other countries. The European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction ( EMCDDA ) concluded in 2017 that supervised drug use facilities allowed for “safer use for clients” and “broader benefits for health and public order”.
San Francisco, where facilities have the support of the local police department, plans to open two this summer, and Philadelphia is considering a pilot program. The American Medical Association (AMA) supports the approach, according to am NY.