Seattle Proposes Safe Drug Sites to Battle Addiction

Seattle Proposes Safe Drug Sites to Battle Addiction

Posted By Schick Shadel || Mar 21, 2016

The People’s Harm Reduction Alliance (PHRA) is hoping to create a series of "safe drug sites" for existing drug users. The project is designed to combat the rising occurrence of fatal drug overdoses due to narcotics by providing addicts with a safe and controlled environment to use illicit drugs. This plan would not only take action to reduce homelessness, but it will also allow the organization to place these men and women under medical supervision. This would secure the prevention of future overdoses while restricting the spread of diseases associated with sharing needles and other drug paraphernalia. The director of the PHRA, Shilo Murphy, believes that this will offer a positive solution to the current drug epidemic facing Seattle.

Their goal is to offer a sanctuary for people to use safely while providing them the option and the resources to change through their available treatment services. In the meantime, the organization plans to supply clean and sterile needles along with testing for HIV and hepatitis should their patrons simply continue the habit.

Our psychiatrist at Schick Shadel, Dr. Richard Repass, has some reservations regarding these safe places. He feels that they may only encourage people to use and try drugs more. He made the following statement,

We’re also going to allow people to have an easier time using them, and children like teens who really don’t know better may take advantage of this just like getting into a bar underage. It’s an earlier way of getting into this without thinking and without having info, the tools they need to make a proper decision. This could contain it but also potentially increase it, I think that’s the issue, so it’s really where is the benefit?

The PHRA is currently seeking funding through donations and grants to make this project a reality. Their goal is to open the very first safe house in June in downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill, and University District.

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