California Lawmakers OK San Francisco Safe Injection Sites - NBC Bay Area
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California Lawmakers OK San Francisco Safe Injection Sites

"We are in a public health crisis and this bill will help us by preventing overdoses while connecting people to medical care that can help treat their addiction," Mayor London Breed said in a statement

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    Bill Passed to Permit Safe Injection Sites in SF

    San Francisco is one step closer to opening safe injection sites after the bill that would allow facilities for people to use controlled substances in a safe setting was cleared Tuesday.

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018)

    San Francisco is almost set to allow a pilot a program to let people inject heroin and other drugs under medical supervision in an effort to curb overdose deaths.

    The California Assembly voted 41-24 Monday to send Gov. Jerry Brown a bill allowing San Francisco to operate so-called safe injection sites where the city would provide sterile needles and people would be able to use illegal drugs there without fear of arrest.

    Click to see NBC Bay Area's report on the supervised injection sites in Vancouver, Canada.

    San Francisco Mayor London Breed said she supports the bill and that the site will save lives.

    San Francisco Preparing to Open Safe Injection Sites

    [BAY] San Francisco Preparing to Open Safe Injection Sites

    San Francisco is preparing to open two safe injection sites this summer in hopes of getting a handle on rampant drug use and cutting down on the spread of disease. Sam Brock reports.

    (Published Friday, Aug. 17, 2018)

    "We are in a public health crisis and this bill will help us by preventing overdoses while connecting people to medical care that can help treat their addiction," Breed said in a statement.

    On Wednesday, Breed is set to visit a full-scale model of a safe injection site at the Glide Foundation in the city's Tenderloin neighborhood.

    The model, called Safer Inside, is equipped with supervised injection booths, medical equipment, trained staff and a clinical area that provides users with access to health care and harm reduction services.

    Breed has been a longtime advocate for safe injection sites. During her time as supervisor, Breed led a task force which estimated in a September 2017 report that the city could save around $3.5 million a year by opening a safe injection site because of reduced health care costs and increased drug treatment uptake.

    The bill was co-authored by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, along with Assemblymember Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, and Assemblymember Laura Friedman, D-Glendale.

    Last week in a statement Wiener said, "People are injecting drugs whether or not we intervene. They're injecting on our sidewalks and parks, in transit stations and alleyways and on people's front steps."

    Web Extra: Inside a Supervised Injection Site

    [BAY] Web Extra: Inside a Supervised Injection Site

    Darwin Fisher runs Insite in Vancouver, Canada, where addicts can bring their own drugs and shoot up with medical supervision. As San Francisco business and political leaders look on, he describes the hazards faced by homeless drug addicts.

    (Published Tuesday, May 22, 2018)

    Wiener added, "Safe injection sites provide people with an opportunity to inject in a clean, safe environment, with healthcare personnel available to prevent overdoses, and with an opportunity to offer people addiction, healthcare, housing and other services."

    But an opponent, Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez of Lake Elsinore, said she worries it will encourage prolonged drug use.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of accidental deaths nationwide is drug overdoses.

    In places like Canada and Europe, safe injection sites have been shown to prevent overdose deaths, reduce the spread of diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV, and help get users into services such as drug treatment programs.

    Bay City News Contributed to this report.