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Md. debates letting drug users inject under supervision

February 16th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

Maryland lawmakers are considering a controversial approach to the worsening opioid crisis that would allow users to inject drugs without facing legal penalties.

Under the legislation, the state would be able to set up facilities where people could self-administer drugs, such as heroin, under the supervision of health care professionals.

“We’ve got to get out of our comfort zone,” said Democratic Sen. Brian Feldman. “The current strategies simply aren’t working.”

 

Committees in both the state House and Senate debated the proposal Thursday.

“We’re in a crisis situation and we owe it to our state to give these practices some consideration,” Feldman said.

Supporters said injection sites would help prevent fatal overdoses and could connect users with treatment and counseling services.

But opponents expressed concerns about having sanctioned drug use in communities, saying the sites could encourage further drug use and criminal activity.

“So, you basically bring your own drugs to the facility and say ‘Hey, I’m going to be shooting up?'” asked Republican Del. Sid Saab. “I think the problem needs to be more on the treatment side than just encouraging, in a way.”

The legislation would allow the Maryland Department of Health to approve up to six injection sites that would operate in places where drug use is known to be a major problem.

They would not be allowed in residential neighborhoods.

1 comment on this post.
  1. mike:

    This actually has eliminated deaths where it’s been tried. And once you get them at the site you can expose them to health pros to get them the help they need.

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