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Why it’s not ‘enabling’ to make drug use safer (www.washingtonpost.com)

 

A recent article by journalist, writer . She co-authored Born to Love : Why Empathy is Essential - and Endangered, with Dr. Bruce Perry) 

In the face of an unabating overdose crisis that has already killed more than a half-million people, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Seattle have announced plans to do what was once unthinkable: open centers where people can inject illegal drugs under medical supervision. Many other cities are also debating so-called safe infection facilities (SIFs) — but unfortunately, a common misconception about addiction stands in the way.

SIFs, also known as Overdose Prevention Sites or Supervised Consumption Centers, have operated for years in at least 66 cities in Europe, Canada and Australia. They reduce overdose mortality, cut transmission of HIV and hepatitis C, decrease public injecting and the presence of dirty needles in streets and parks, and even reduce local crime and violence rates — all while improving health. Despite millions of injections carried out by thousands of people, no one has ever died of an overdose at an SIF, according to Brandon Marshall, an associate professor of epidemiology at Brown University, who has studied these programs. Read more.

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Thank you so much for sharing this, Cissy. As someone who has worked in the addiction field for 14+ years, I wholeheartedly agree with Maia Szalavitz's statement, "It’s long past time to retire the ideas of 'enabling' and 'hitting bottom' and let drug policy be guided by data, not a desire to punish perceived immorality."

Lisa

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