Are State-Sanctioned Heroin Shooting Galleries a Good Idea?

by Sarah Breitenbach – A bustling economy. Record-low unemployment. A ballooning heroin problem. That’s how Mayor Svante Myrick describes Ithaca, New York, where he hopes to open the nation’s first safe injection facility — a place where heroin users could shoot their illegal drugs under medical supervision and without fear of arrest. His proposal, part of a plan to address drug abuse in the 31,000-person college town in central New York, is not a novel idea. Safe injection sites, which also connect clients to treatment programs and offer emergency care to reverse overdoses, exist in 27 cities in other parts of the world. Some have been around for decades. But no safe havens for injecting illegal drugs exist in the United States, which is experiencing an epidemic of opioid addiction and a rising tide of overdose deaths. Some lawmakers in California and Maryland want to change that and make legal what...

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