Questioning Safe Spaces for Addicts

Jennifer Fallon


Desperate times call for desperate measures. And some believe that includes using tax dollars to care for people while they inject illegal drugs.

Seattle recently announced it would establish a government-funded “safe” drug space, where heroin users could inject without fear of repercussions. On-site nursing staff would monitor the addicts and keep them from fatally overdosing. The mayor of Ithaca, New York, announced a similarly controversial plan. And in Boston, the nonprofit Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) opened a space where users could come down from their highs.

The opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportions across America. As many as 2.1 million Americans are currently addicted to opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. More than 28,000 people died from overdoses in 2014 alone.

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