Should There Be Safe Places to Shoot Heroin/Take Opioids in Humboldt?
People in Humboldt County die from drug overdoses at twice the average rate as the United States as a whole. And this isn’t a recent development. We’ve been dying at twice the national rate from drug overdoses for over 10 years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that compiled the county level map below, we have some of the highest overdose death rates in the nation.
Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (a Democrat from Stockton) is proposing a new bill (AB 186,) that will, according to the Sacramento Bee, “authorize governments in eight counties to test “safe injection sites” in areas with heavy opioid consumption.” One of those counties is Humboldt. Another is Mendocino.
In these “safe injection sites,” adults could bring the illegal drugs they had purchased elsewhere and use them in a place with emergency care and clean needles available. They could do so without being subject to prosecution.
According to the Sacramento Bee,
…[R]esearch on these facilities in other countries has found they reduce overdoses and steer more people toward treatment by having health care providers on hand who can administer the opioid-blocking medication naloxone and refer visitors to services.
“It’s treating addiction as a public health issue and getting people help rather than criminalizing it,” Eggman said.