Should Safe Injection Sites Be Legal?

Greg:                    All right. What is going on everyone? It is Matt and Greg here, and today I got a topic. I got my phone up here. It says, “Philadelphia wants safe injection sites to help opioid fight.” So basically, what Philadelphia wants to do is provide an area where people can legally inject drugs, heroin specifically, and they are given clean needles, among other things. What’s your opinion on that?

Matt:                    Well, a couple things to kind of clarify. So for one, the city of Philadelphia is encouraging people to come in and do this and to set these services up. I think that … I think it’s a positive thing because what we’re looking at doing … and this is a really controversial topic.

Greg:                    Yeah.

Matt:                    The whole idea is that drug use, or especially heroin, the heroin epidemic, is spreading like wildfire right now. I think in an effort to slow things down, these safe injection sites are offering a place where addicts can come under the guise of like, “Yeah, you’re getting clean needles. It’s a little bit safer,” whatever. When they go to this facility they’ll have access to help. To naloxone, which is if you overdose, naloxone is a drug to kind of resuscitate the victim, but more importantly they have access to social services that will help them get clean if they want to get clean.

So I understand when people are kind of looking at this like, “We don’t want to spend money bringing these drug addicts out to basically use in the open,” but I think that you’re already starting to see drug use out in the open. I mean, I saw an article the other day, and it’s people are just outside shooting up. I mean, it’s just … it’s becoming so widespread that it’s pouring out from kind of the underground scene into everyday life. If we don’t start putting some stuff in place where some of these people can have access to help, it’s just going to continue to get worse.

Greg:                    It’s definitely a controversial topic. I can see both sides of the argument.

Matt:                    Yeah.

Greg:                    I can both sides. I think it really depends on like, what have you gone through? If you’re someone who doesn’t have addiction in your life or … I think everyone has addiction somewhat in their life, but if it’s never hit you close to home you’re probably like, “That’s a horrible idea,” because it doesn’t affect you at all. But I try to put myself in the shoes of everyone. So first, being the addict, if I’m a heroin addict, I’m going to get high. Right?

Matt:                    Absolutely.

Greg:                    Nothing’s going to stop me, okay? The hard part is getting the heroin, and that is it. Once you have the heroin you’re going to use no matter what. So the fact that they’re providing safe needles and a place to shoot their heroin is not really that big of a deal, because like you said, they’re going to be doing it on the side of the street if they have to, illegally. They don’t care.

Matt:                    Yeah, they don’t.

Greg:                    That’s not going to stop them.

Matt:                    No.

Greg:                    Then they’re going to throw their needle on the ground where, imagine if you’re in these communities, many of you may not be, where there’s needles all over the ground where your kids can find them. So that’s one of the big things there is, you got to put yourself in the place of the people that are maybe in these communities, and you got to also put yourself in the mind of an addict. They’re going to get high either way.

So I also really like how you said they’re going to have help there. It’s a way where people can kind of get help and it’s more like in front of them. It’s more in the forefront. So I definitely see why people think it would be a bad idea, but when I compare the positives and the negatives, I just … Addicts are going to get high either way, okay? You’re just providing them safe needles and a place to legally do it, rather than a place where they’re going to do it anyways and throw their needles on the side of the road where kids can pick them up and things like that. So I just think the positives outweigh the negatives here, and that’s my opinion on it.

Matt:                    Yeah, and again, just to double back on kind of what Greg said about them having access to help. I mean, these social workers are not able to go and find drug addicts on the road, or they’re able to, but it’s going to put them in a lot of danger. They just-

Greg:                    They probably don’t want to.

Matt:                    They don’t want to.

Greg:                    Not in these areas.

Matt:                    And I mean, a lot of times if a drug addict is kind of doing their thing and they … they don’t want help, or they don’t know that they want help. I think that this is offering a place where if an addict’s going, they’re going to this clean injection site, I don’t know, however often as they go, at some point it just might be the right timing when they’re like, “You know what? I need to get out of this shit.” Where else do you go? You know what I mean?

Greg:                    Yeah.

Matt:                    There’s not always access to help like that. So I think is just kind of offering … I think the whole safe, or the clean needle injection site thing is kind of a bait to get people in there to hopefully try to filter that in to a process where they can start to get clean.

Greg:                    That’s a good point, because most addicts, they don’t want to go look for help.

Matt:                    No.

Greg:                    But if help’s right there-

Matt:                    Exactly.

Greg:                    … maybe it starts drawing them in. And kind of like I said, they’re going to get high either way.

Matt:                    Yeah.

Greg:                    Whether it’s a safe injection site or not, it doesn’t matter. They’re going to get high, so why not have safe needles with a place to put the needles and all that type stuff. I personally just don’t see why not giving it a try.

Matt:                    Yeah.

Greg:                    That’s my opinion.

Matt:                    Yeah, and again, I think a lot people who maybe are against this just haven’t quite looked at … or maybe they don’t know anybody or they haven’t gone through those struggles themselves. They don’t understand addiction. This is probably one of the healthier ways to get people to come out and try to get them some help.

Because again, having people affected by heroin abuse, whether … of course nobody agrees with it, but it does affect our community as a whole. I mean, so you can be standoffish about it, say again, I mentioned the other day people who don’t understand the addiction, they’re like, “Why don’t you just try not doing drugs?” It’s just not realistic, and if you really want to make an effort to better the community and the people who are really struggling at the bottom, you have to kind of just be a little open minded about different ways to provide access to help, I think.

Greg:                    I could definitely see the person who’s never kind of dealt with being, “That is the craziest idea,” and I get it.

Matt:                    Absolutely.

Greg:                    I get it. I can put myself in their shoes. But hopefully this was helpful. If you guys have anything to weigh in on this topic, let us know if there’s any questions, and I think that’s it for this one.

Matt:     Yeah. Thanks for watching guys. Look forward to talking to you soon.

In Category: Addiction

Greg Morrison

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