First, New York City becomes a sanctuary for illegal immigrants to be free from federal immigration authorities, from whom they are eluding. Now, they wish to create sanctuaries for heroin addicts to be free from controlled substance laws.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced plans to open four supervised drug injection sites around the city in an effort to combat the opiate epidemic.
City officials described the sites as places where people are allowed to safely inject heroin, then receive help from professionals in hopes they will address their addiction.
Medical professionals will also be present while people “safely” inject heroin as to administer an overdose antidote, if need be the case.
“After rigorous review of similar efforts across the world, and after careful consideration of public health and safety expert views, we believe overdose prevention centers will save lives and get more New Yorkers into the treatment they need to beat this deadly addiction,” said Mayor de Blasio in a statement.
In essence, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio believes he can curb the opiate epidemic by facilitating heroin use and handing a stumbling addict a pamphlet on their way out the front door. Opening supervised injection sites in New York City will most certainly exacerbate the opiate epidemic while fattening the pockets of those whom peddle the deadly substance. Mayor de Blasio’s approach here is counterproductive, to say the least.
Let’s be very clear here, there is no “safe” way to inject heroin. The fact that Mayor de Blasio would imply there is a safe way to inject heroin is alarming.
Mayor de Blasio claims to have examined similar efforts around the world, but has he? If we examine the statistics coming out of Canada, it appears that New York City doesn’t have much to look forward to.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada enlisted a “supervised injection site” program in 2010 and it has been a catastrophic failure ever since. The proposed purpose of these sites are to get addicts into treatment and reduce overdose deaths however, it only provided a safe place to violate controlled substance laws while increasing the amount of overdose deaths.
Vancouver saw an increase in heroin use after they opened Insight, a non-profit company with a logo containing a syringe underlining the company name and a poppy flower to dot the ‘I.’ Insite markets themselves as an organization that helps the addicted get better when, in reality, they merely provide a location for addicts to slowly kill themselves while receiving taxpayer funding to pay-off the staff. The logo for Insite should be a skull and cross bones.
If these sites were experiencing any level of success there would be a decrease in opiate addiction in Vancouver however, the city has experienced the opposite year after year. Prior to 2010, the year Insite was first opened, Vancouver saw a small decrease in illicit drug deaths. As Insite’s introductory year ended in 2010, so did the lives of more addicts than the year prior to their existence. A trend that Insite seems proud to continue. As they see more drug use outside the facility and all over British Columbia, they continue to facilitate and exacerbate Vancouver’s drug epidemic, which has also spread to surrounding areas.
Illicit drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed since the introduction of Insite. We can use Insite’s own numbers to prove how horrible these injections sites are and the immense damage they are doing to the community. In 2015, Insite reported 440 injection room visits per day with 6,532 individuals registered. In 2016, Insite reported 514 injection room visits per day with 8,040 individuals registered. If Insite has been open since 2010 and their primary goal is to get people into treatment, why on Earth have overdose deaths increased every year? Why have the amount of users in and around Vancouver increased if these sites are successful in getting addicts into treatment?
This is a two pronged problem. First, by providing “safe injection sites” city officials are merely providing sanctuary from controlled substance laws and subsequent consequences that could drive the addicted into real treatment. Many former addicts will attribute their decision to get clean to an arrest stemming from their addiction. This motivating factor is irreparably diminished with the introduction of supervised injection sites. Not to mention the extent to which these sites will diminish moral within local police departments. What’s the point of enforcing controlled substance laws in one part of the town when city officials are facilitating the use of controlled substances on the other end of town?
Secondly, the government is facilitating heroin use thus dispelling the stigma that surrounds it in the first place. Shame is a very big motivating factor for some people to get clean or to avoid the drug all together. But that warning from the government is no longer credible since they are now overseeing and facilitating the use of heroin. The result is, more citizens in and around these facilities become addicts. Addicts who want treatment will go to a treatment facility, not a facility that oversees further drug use. Supervised injections sites are the epitome of counterproductive.
Let’s look at a 2017 summary provided by the British Columbia Coroners Service regarding illicit drug overdose deaths in British Columbia, https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/public-safety-and-emergency-services/death-investigation/statistical/illicit-drug.pdf.
- There were 96 suspected drug overdose deaths in October of 2017. This is a 26% increase over the number of death occurring in October 2016 (76).
- The number of illicit drug overdose deaths in October 2017 (96) equates to about 3.1 deaths per day for one month.
- In 2017, individuals aged 19-59 have accounted for 91% of illicit drug overdose deaths. Males accounted for 82% of all suspected illicit drug overdose deaths over the same time period.
- The three townships experiencing the highest number of illicit drug overdose deaths in 2017 to date are Vancouver, Surrey, and Victoria.
- Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health Authority have had the highest number of illicit drug overdose deaths (405 and 358 deaths, respectively) to date in 2017, making up 63% of all illicit drug overdose deaths during this time period.
- Vancouver Coastal Health Authority has had the highest rate of illicit drug overdose deaths (36.4 deaths per 1000,000 individuals) and also experienced the largest increase in rate from 2016 (52% increase) among all the health authorities. Overall, the rate of illicit drug overdose deaths in BC increased 46% to 30.2 deaths per 1000,000 individuals from the 2016 year-end rate of 20.7 deaths per 1000,000 individuals.
- Rates of illicit drug overdose deaths are highest in Vancouver, Okanagan, Fraser East, Central Vancouver Island, and North Vancouver Island Health Services Delivery Areas.
- Interior, Fraser and Vancouver Island health authorities saw an increase in the number of illicit drug overdose deaths in October 2017 compared to September 2017.
- 3% of illicit drug overdose deaths occurred inside (57.9% private residences, 29.5% other inside locations) and 12.1% occurred outside in vehicles, sidewalks, streets, parks, etc.
- There were no deaths at supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention sites.
The data shows there were no deaths at supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention however, there is a very important statistic that Insite and the British Columbia health authorities are keeping from the public: the number of people that were registered with Insite’s supervised consumption sites and have since passed away from illicit drug overdose while at home or some other location. Judging from the data above coupled with the omission of such a vital statistic, one can be sure that number is an embarrassment for the program.
One reason city officials used in selling these injection centers was that addicts would primarily inject heroin in these designated locations. Clearly, they have no understanding how addiction works or that line of reasoning would have been scoffed at. When a heroin addict doesn’t have heroin in their system they become dope sick, commonly referred to as withdrawals. This includes vomiting, shivering, sweating, convulsions, and cramping. The withdrawals will not subside until the addict ingests more heroin. To think heroin addicts will wait until they get to a supervised injection site when they are feigning for a fix is inane and ignorant.
The numbers above prove that supervised injections sites are not a part of the solution, they are part of the problem. The people that are proposing them are a part of the problem as well, as they are unable to extrapolate the negative impacts from factual data provided by health authorities.
Supervised injection sites are no different than opening up assisted suicide centers that offer a gun to people who want to end their life, as long as they bring their own bullet. Yes. As long as you bring your own bullet, the kindhearted medical professionals will ensure you place the gun in the right spot to ensure optimum efficacy. That would be absolute lunacy.
There is no logic in the government of New York City opening safe injections sites for heroin addicts. NONE! This is an attempt to give-up on the addicted and assist them in their suicide while giving them refuge in hopes they will, “vote de Blasio” in the next election. How can we fight the opiate epidemic when the government becomes a part of the problem? How do we combat the opiate epidemic when the government operates the trap houses?
When New York City begins installing supervised drug injection sites, we can only hope the DEA will be waiting by every door. The federal government should order the DEA to search every individual entering these facilities via probable cause and offer them a real path into a real drug treatment program instead of one that will be complacent with their drug use and oversee their slow death. How would anyone think allowing addicts to further use heroin, free from the penalties of law enforcement, would be a viable solution to any problem?
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