Seattle Pushes for Safe Injection Facilities
Seattle, Washington is attempting to be the first city in America to open supervised injection facilities (SIFs) in order to reduce blood-borne diseases and fatal overdoses.
Only eight countries in the world currently utilize SIFs, and the US is not one of them. According to drug-abuse researcher Dr. Caleb Banta-Green, “The evidence base is very clear. SIFs have very good health outcomes and do not have a big downside” (Siegel, 2015).
According to addiction news website The Fix, “If there is a downside, it’s doubtful it can be any worse than doing nothing”—over twenty-three thousand people were involved in opioid-related deaths in 2013 and 70 percent of addicts who inject drugs are infected with hepatitis C in Seattle (Siegel, 2015).
Dr. Banta-Green also stated that for many addicts, SIFs could be a good way to get them into the health care system. “It’s really a front door in . . . we’re making a relationship and a connection, and then the fourth or fifth time they come back, they’re interested in getting [connected to other services], then you’re set up for that” (Siegel, 2015).
Seattle City Hall members are in support of SIFs in the city, and Mayor Ed Murray said he would be willing to consider it pending more information on functional operation.
Siegel, Z. (2015). Seattle may be home to America’s first safe injection facility. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/seattle-may-be-home-america%E2%80%99s-first-safe-injection-facility