Left My Fix in San Francisco

San Francisco considers injection room

City health officials took steps Thursday toward opening the nation's first legal safe-injection room, where addicts could shoot up heroin, cocaine and other drugs under the supervision of nurses.

Hoping to reduce San Francisco's high rate of fatal drug overdoses, the public health department co-sponsored a symposium on the only such facility in North America, a four-year-old Vancouver site where an estimated 700 intravenous users a day self-administer narcotics under the supervision of nurses.
Bertha Madras, deputy director of demand reduction for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, called San Francisco's consideration of such a facility "disconcerting" and "poor public policy."

"The underlying philosophy is, 'We accept drug addiction, we accept the state of affairs as acceptable,'" Madras said. "This is a form of giving up."

Just when you thought that you couldn't be surprised. Maybe this 'solution' could work if it was a way up and out.. if it was incorporated into a larger plan to get people free of drugs.. and not a way to institutionalize a bad idea that strengthens the hold of drugs on people.


  1. It could be a solution to Aids and hepatitis. If they are getting clean needles and a safe place to be. I wonder if they are trying to help them to get clean. I also wonder how many might have children with them when they are doing this. It stands a chance of help those in need. We can only pray that it saves some without hope.

  2. I've ministered in East Vancouver, where the clinic mentioned operates. It's not a program to help them get clean at all - it supports the status-quo of their current addiction. In my opinion, it is not compassionate to help people slowly kill themselves, so the argument about overdose reduction is ridiculous.

    My husband has a high school friend who overcame a heroin addiction (which occurred while he was living in Vancouver). He's now pursuing higher education and living well in Montreal. He is vehemently against the clinic as a non-solution. He feels the same as Madras: it is a policy of giving up on people. I find that interesting.

  3. I just spent the day with an addict who will celebrate 1 year clean on 10/31. I agree with Sarah, this is not the solution to a huge problem, its enabling addicts to continue to be addicts. I think its insane, what is the point?

    Drug addicts overdose and die. How can a nurse sit there and WATCH someone inject death into their veins?

    If they are that concerned about fatal overdoses I think they could spend their money helping addicts get OFF drugs, not helping them do them "safely".

    (P.S. My friend was an addict for 30 years and should have been dead many, many times, God kept him alive for a reason. This is the first time in those 30 years he's been clean for more than 8 months. I think its real this time....I know it is!)


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