State supports pilot program for addicts to inject illegal drugs

This type of injection center currently exists in Sydney, Australia

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker is considering an unorthodox idea of providing sanctioned spaces for people to inject themselves with illegal drugs. The Massachusetts Medical Society has come out in support of a pilot program to test state-directed sites where this can take place.

The MMS found links between safe injection sites and fewer overdoses and less disease in countries that have these spaces. The idea is using these sites to monitor addicts and wean them off their drugs.

This type of injection center currently exists in Sydney, Australia at the Sydney Medically Supervised Injection Center at Kings Cross. This May, the center will celebrate 16 years in operation. There, medical professionals thoroughly evaluate patients when they arrive with their drugs. They provide sterile equipment, and supervise the process from the injection to dismissal, without participating in the drug abuse injection.

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Former drug addict Adelyn Medina-Rodriguez told 22News this could’ve helped her get clean; “I would’ve thought that it was wonderful, because it would’ve helped me a lot better, because I did it on my own.”

Governor Baker said this unorthodox idea merits further study. House Speaker Robert DeLeo said the governor would need a very convincing argument for DeLeo to support the proposal

“We need to start looking at more creative, progressive approaches to this surge that we’re facing in this country, particularly, in this region,” said Harry Greenhouse of Northampton. “Whatever kind of approach we’re taking currently is not working.”

Click Here to learn about Sydney’s Medically Supervised Injection Center.