Maryland State Attorney in Favor of Safe Injection Sites
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has come out in favor of safe injection sites for heroin and other drug users, signing onto a legal brief in support, along with 63 other experts in the criminal justice field. Mosby signed a legal brief that is in support of Safehouse, a safe injection site, sometimes referred to as an overdose prevention site, in Philadelphia.
The legal brief has been signed by multiple federal and state prosecutors, as well as law enforcement officials from across the country. The brief states that, “Philadelphia and other American communities gripped by this public health emergency should be able to make use of the proven benefits of an overdose prevention site to save lives, improve public health, and enhance community trust and public safety.”
The idea of giving people addicted to heroin and other drugs a safe place to use has become the topic of conversation for those pro harm-reduction, mostly due to opioid overdose rates skyrocketing in recent years, assumingly because of fentanyl. Fentanyl has increasingly been found in heroin and cocaine overdose deaths. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid more potent than heroin. Safe injection sites can be found throughout Europe and Canada.
Baltimore County operates clean needle exchange programs, which allows those suffering with addiction to exchange dirty syringes for clean needles and learn about resources and treatment options. However, Maryland needle exchanges are not statewide, and none of the programs allow for user to inject themselves on-site, where they would have access to naloxone, nursing staff and social workers. In Baltimore, 224 people died to due opioid overdoses during that period, according to the health department.
While the use of safe injection sites has been increasingly popular, and a topic of conversation, there are still some issues with the idea that this would actually help anyone suffering with addiction. The biggest issue that has been raised with safe injection facilities is that it is a temporary solution to a huge problem. While safe injection sites could help aid in overdose prevention and the spread of infectious disease, there is no “getting better” if you are using drugs daily. These sites become a band-aid when we need stitches or surgery. Deciding to enter treatment is the best way to get the help you need to truly live a happy, sober, life.
Foundations Recovery Center of Maryland is here to help you recover from your addiction, not just physically, but spiritually, mentally and emotionally as well. Trauma, pain and the fear of stigma and shame often create barriers in treatment, but at Foundations our therapists work with you to get through these issues.