Harm Reduction

Philadelphia Safe Injection Site Opening Delayed

Blame angry neighbors, not the feds.

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A nation-first site for users to safely inject drugs will not be opening in Philadelphia this week after all.

A U.S. attorney from the Justice Department is taking the project to court to stop them, but that's not what caused the delay. The roadblock is an angry response from people in the neighborhood.

Officials and activists with the non-profit Safehouse have been working on plans to open a privately operated, donor-funded safe injection facility (SIF). The place would give drug addicts a place off the street where they can inject under the watch of trained medical professionals who could respond to overdoses.

They've been fighting the U.S. Department of Justice, which thinks this harm reduction tool is against federal law and encourages drug use. The feds lost the first round of the fight when a federal judge ruled against them last October.

But last week, when Safehouse announced its first site to open, it was not in the Kensington neighborhood, as everybody thought it would be, but in South Philadelphia, a few miles away. Some residents felt blindsided.

Kensington is infamous for open use in homeless encampments—and for high rates of overdoses and deaths. South Philadelphia has its share of drug deaths, too. But the announcement nevertheless sparked outrage, prompting organizers to pull back and "regroup" to decide the best course of action. The lease they had arranged in South Philadelphia has been cancelled.

Christopher Moraff, who has been doing street-level coverage of Philadelphia's drug abuse crisis for years, reports in Filter that while Kensington was planned for an initial SIF, Safehouse worried that it would not be able to immediately meet demand; meanwhile, the owner of the building they were intending to lease got cold feet and pulled out. Safehouse Vice President Ronda Goldfein told Moraff that they picked South Philadelphia as another location because that part of the city has the second-highest number of drug fatalities.

A big difference in drug use patterns made people more comfortable with having a facility in Kensington than in South Philadelphia. Despite the overdose statistics, Moraff explains, most of the drug abuse in South Philadelphia takes place behind closed doors:

In contrast to Kensington, which is known for its open-air drug markets, drugs and drug paraphernalia are not visible on the streets of South Philly. Most dealers conduct their business by phone and sometimes make house calls. The population is predominantly Italian American, with a tradition of children continuing to live in their parents' homes into adulthood.

The majority of fatal overdoses here happen inside the home, with no one present to intervene. Compare that to Kensington, where injection drug use is often conducted in the open, and frequently in groups. Kensington's proximity to Prevention Point Philadelphia also provides ready access to naloxone and sterile syringes.

No comparable program serves people who use drugs in lower South Philly. Few of the injecting drug users I've spoken with here carry naloxone, and for most, the only way to obtain sterile syringes is to purchase them from a pharmacy, making access less likely.

Many South Philly residents fear that opening the facility there will draw in Kensington users or even cause a surge in open outdoor use even though the point of a SIF is to serve as an alternative to this behavior.

It's an unfortunate setback for Safehouse. But with luck they'll find a path forward and we can start seeing whether SIFs can help reduce overdose deaths, help reduce the spread of diseases, and help connect addicts to resources to assist them.

 

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  1. I don’t think taking the drug use into the public is much of a selling point.

  2. I see an interesting parallel with immigration: it’s the forced actions which piss people off. There are some xenophobes, and I don’t know what percent. But I have always had the impression that the primary complaints in Germany and Britain are the way governments pushed so hard to “import”, so to speak, refugees who had no other reason to migrate there. France possibly also, but they had colonized a lot of North Africa, which makes things less obvious to this non-Francophile.

    I don’t know where this safe-injection site would go if government weren’t pushing it; but I do know it’s purported need is entirely down to government making drugs illegal in teh first place. IOW, a typical government “solution” to make up for what they screwed up in the first place.

    1. In a free market there would be no need for “legal injection site”. But a “safe injection site” would most likely be located where the rents are cheaper and the users are closer. So Kensington rather than the marginally more politically connected South Philly. And in a free market the neighbors can still sue for the business encouraging lawlessness. But they would not be able to sue on the basis of just not liking drug users in their area.

      1. If you really support private property, you should be ok if your neighbor designates his house a safe injection site.

        1. No, you can’t just open a brothel in a ‘free market’.

    2. *cough cough*

      Officials and activists with the non-profit Safehouse have been working on plans to open a privately operated, donor-funded safe injection facility (SIF).

      It’s not the government “pushing” this.

      1. Yeah right. Pull the other one.

        So many damned statists who think a sheer veil hides government involvement.

        1. Okay, so the government may have created the need, and may be the one selecting and approving of the site and the number of centers and the terms on which they can operate, but otherwise this is 100% the free market at work.

          1. It’s not just that 🙂

            I distinctly remember news articles about the city providing the appropriate governmental fig leaf against the feds.

            1. Government Fig Leaf – great band name

              1. And they could assure their fans that at least 18% of all tickets would go at reduced prices to people making only 150% of the federal poverty line?

          2. So, about 1%, right?

      2. “…It’s not the government “pushing” this…”

        Luandering taxpayer money through “non-profits” is a time-honored vote vote-buying technique.
        And I see we have a brand new sucker…

        1. EscherEnigma has been around the block a few times, caught in a never ending loop of self-deceit.

  3. You’d be amazed how many heroin addicts do not have regular jobs – employers being unacceptably inflexible about workers not showing up- in spite of the high cost of illegal drugs.
    Where ever do they get the cash to pay for the opiates? It can’t be crime.

    1. Many heroin users are quite able to hold down a steady job and relationship and stuff.

      People don’t think so because heroin is historically associated with extremely poor neighborhoods full of people of color. The affluent white pundster can thus safely rail against heroin because its not his class engaged in heroin. He’s much less adamant against MDMA and Ecstasy other “white” drugs. Heroin is also more attractive to people in various states of despair. So the heroin using population will of course have it’s share of the perpetually unemployed.

      The idea that heroin leads to joblessness is mostly bunk, and where the correlation does exist, it’s mostly along the line of joblessness leading to heroin use rather than the other direction.

      1. Not to mention that the criminalization of heroin might also cause heroin users to lose their jobs.

      2. Some country (Switzerland?) legalized heroin by prescription in government sites. I do not remember any details of that end, but the article emphasized that all the participants held regular jobs perfectly well. It was only a half hour or hour in the morning where they were incapacitated.

        1. It was Switzerland, yes. They (and the Netherlands) had some trouble with ‘drug tourism’ (people coming from other EU countries where it’s not legal) and the congregation of addicts in certain city parks, but otherwise I never heard much in the way of downsides about it.

      3. The idea that heroin leads to joblessness is mostly bunk

        ^ This. Your average heroin addict is shockingly boring, Hollywood movies and police procedurals aside. Your visible “street addicts” tend to be long-term stable addicts who hit some sort of life crisis that knocked them out of their routine and threatened the stability of their supply such they now live day-to-day in desperation for that next fix.

        Needless to say, this wouldn’t be a problem if heroin were legal, and your “safe injection site” would be your house, because it wouldn’t be so hard to find clean needles. Which in turn would mean not having to have controversies over where the one “safe injection site” is going to be. Same way we don’t sweat safe injection sites for diabetics.

      4. There’s a lot of rich and famous guys like Phillip Seymour Hoffman who are totally able to carry on successful careers while doing heroin. Let’s ask Phil! Hey, Phil! Phil? Phil…? Oh, nevermind.

        1. Let’s ask Phil! Hey, Phil! Phil? Phil…? Oh, nevermind.

          Phil’s been dead a while man. Almost as long as Kurt Cobain. You should ask Carrie Fisher instead.

          1. Almost as long as Kurt Cobain.

            Who died of a gunshot wound to the head.

            You should ask Carrie Fisher instead.

            Who died of heart disease.

            1. So, you agree that their careers ended?

            2. Her daughter Billie Lourd stated that Fisher “battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life [and] ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases… I know my Mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles.”

              I’d be LOLing about your ‘They didn’t drown, they died of asphyxiation and aspiration while underwater.’ argument if it weren’t so sad.

              1. I’d be LOLing about your ‘They didn’t drown, they died of asphyxiation and aspiration while underwater.’ argument if it weren’t so sad.

                Uh huh. And Kirk Douglas made cowboy movies, therefore his death was caused by guns, which ended his career decades ago.

                I’m not sure you’re LOLing at the right stupid argument – yours is more like “they were shot eight times, stabbed, and had their brains scooped out with a roto-rooter before they were found at the bottom of the river. Cause of death: drowning.”

                And I get that Fisher’s daughter would like a little publicity out of this, but last I checked fatty deposits building up in your arteries leading to heart failure is a side effect of neither heroin nor cocaine.

                Could it be that some pathologies underlie both addiction and other self-destructive behaviors? Like Carrie Fisher being bi-polar and self-medicating?

                1. And I get that Fisher’s daughter would like a little publicity out of this, but last I checked fatty deposits building up in your arteries leading to heart failure is a side effect of neither heroin nor cocaine.

                  Which factually turns the coroner’s diagnosis around. Heart failure, which cocaine and heroine can both cause independently, can be exacerbated by fatty deposits.

                  Could it be that some pathologies underlie both addiction and other self-destructive behaviors? Like Carrie Fisher being bi-polar and self-medicating?

                  To make such an assertion, you’d have to believe that the correlation between such activities was fairly firm and predictable a priori and not a niche application of a mostly bunk general trend.

                  1. Heart failure, which cocaine and heroine can both cause independently, can be exacerbated by fatty deposits.

                    “In a June 16, 2017, news release, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said that the exact cause of death could not be determined, but sleep apnea and the buildup of fatty tissue on the walls of arteries were among the contributing factors.[1] A full report from June 19, 2017, stated that Fisher had cocaine in her system, as well as traces of heroin, other opiates, and MDMA. The report also stated that the investigation was unable to determine when she had taken the drugs, and whether they contributed to her death.”

                    You, however, are certain she died of a heroin overdose (from ‘trace amounts’). Have you contacted the coroner with your findings?

                    And are your findings dependent on pretending heroin can cause heart failure by simply being present in your system, rather than heart failure being a result of a heroin overdose?

                    you’d have to believe that the correlation between such activities was fairly firm and predictable a priori and not a niche application of a mostly bunk general trend

                    While this sentence doesn’t really make sense, it sounds like you’re agreeing that there’s a strong correlation between certain mental disorders and addictive behaviors, often referred to in medical communities as “self-medicating?” That underlying truly intractable addiction problems is often found to be some strain of mental illness that drugs help control, as least as far as the person self-diagnoses?

                    That would be what the content of your post suggests, but the tone and the general sense that you’re saying something contrary to me would suggest that no, what you’re saying is “addiction is a moral failing, and therefore heroin addicts can’t hold down jobs the way alcoholics can.” Which also doesn’t really make any sense.

                    What is it you’re trying to say, again?

                    1. You, however, are certain she died of a heroin overdose (from ‘trace amounts’).

                      No such thing was said.

                    2. Moreover, I don’t have to tell the coroner because the coroner explicitly listed her drug use as a contributing factor to her death.

                      It’s possible to die with trace drugs in your system and find the trace drugs to be irrelevant. This coroner didn’t find that and you want to pretend, for some reason and against the deceased and family’s wishes, that they did.

                    3. No such thing was said.

                      Seems like a complete and utter non-sequitur to have brought her up in the first place, then, no?

                    4. It’s possible to die with trace drugs in your system and find the trace drugs to be irrelevant. This coroner didn’t find that and you want to pretend, for some reason and against the deceased and family’s wishes, that they did.

                      Wait . . . so she did die of a heroin overdose?

                      Seriously – what the fuck is your point here?

                    5. Seems like a complete and utter non-sequitur to have brought her up in the first place, then, no?

                      No. Phil/Cobain/Fisher failed to carry on a successful career while on heroin.

                    6. Wait . . . so she did die of a heroin overdose?

                      Seriously – what the fuck is your point here?

                      Overdose is not the only way to die from heroin. Drug use. Few and far between are the drugs, legal or otherwise, with a single mode of action or means of inducing death. Especially a death that cannot be complicated by other factors.

                      Seriously, at this point I’m getting more retarded discussing it with you.

                    7. No. Phil/Cobain/Fisher failed to carry on a successful career while on heroin.

                      Let’s see.

                      Hoffman, as I said, had been sober for many years, and prior to that in fact did carry on a successful career while on heroin.

                      Cobain was also on heroin throughout his most successful period as a musician. There is no reason to think that would have changed other than his suicide.

                      I don’t know whether Fisher was on heroin during the height of her career in the late’70s-early’80s, but she sure was on everything else she could get her hands on. Her career wasn’t exactly on fire when she died.

                      Meanwhile, I mentioned Keith Richards, Dr. John and Burroughs, who were (are) all life-long heroin addicts.

                      So, why is it that I need a 100% correlation of people being successful their whole lives, but you don’t even need one single case to declare my point bullshit?

                      And regarding the other half of my point, people having long and successful careers as alcoholics? I listed off a number of famous people who died from alcohol, and I didn’t even have to obfuscate to do it.

                      Seriously, at this point I’m getting more retarded discussing it with you.

                      I can see it happening, too. I hope you get better.

      5. The idea that heroin leads to joblessness is mostly bunk, and where the correlation does exist, it’s mostly along the line of joblessness leading to heroin use rather than the other direction.

        This is a bullshit false equivocation. “Correlation does not equal causation but, in the even more narrow case where it does, I know how and why.”

        1. No. It’s the observation that in unemployed, street-dwelling heroin addicts the addiction preceded the joblessness and the street-dwelling, generally by many, many years, and the ‘tail-spin’ came in reaction to massive unexpected life disruption like a death in the close family, a divorce, an injury, etc.

          This ain’t rocket science, man – there’s piles and piles of literature on this.

  4. Sure everyone wants a drug injection site in their neighborhood.

    What could possibly go wrong ? LOL

  5. “The place would give drug addicts a place off the street where they can inject under the watch of trained medical professionals who could respond to overdoses.”

    And then hang around outside all day bugging people and trying to scrounge up money to get their next fix.

    1. Also, if this is the goal, then moving to a neighborhood where the drugs are already off the street and behind closed doors would only do the opposite of their purported goal.

  6. “But with luck they’ll find a path forward and we can start seeing whether SIFs can help reduce overdose deaths, help reduce the spread of diseases, and help connect addicts to resources to assist them.”

    SIFs are dumb. I support drug legalization, but I don’t view SIFs as a step toward that. They are a dumb, anti-community idea, and you can be opposed to them and still support legalizating heroin. I don’t know why Reason is high on them.

  7. Rather than blaming angry neighbors, credit property owners who don’t want an influx of druggies to turn their neighborhood to shit.

  8. His overdose actually followed a long period of sobriety, which is not that uncommon – same thing happened to Tim Buckley. The addict builds up a tolerance, which then goes away after a long period of sobriety.

    Meanwhile, Keith Richards is still doing fine, William S. Burroughs made it well into his 80s, and Dr. John made it to about 80. And these are guys who were pretty public about their addiction. Freaking David Crosby turns 80 next year.

    Compare heroin addicts with alcoholics and you’ll start to wonder why the one is illegal when the other isn’t.

    1. Meant to be a reply to Cloudbuster’s “There’s a lot of rich and famous guys like Phillip Seymour Hoffman who are totally able to carry on successful careers while doing heroin. Let’s ask Phil! Hey, Phil! Phil? Phil…? Oh, nevermind.”

    2. Compare heroin addicts with alcoholics and you’ll start to wonder why the one is illegal when the other isn’t.

      The majority of reformed heroin and alcohol addicts freely admit that sober is the way to be and/or recognize of their own volition that the drugs are a crutch/disease/stigma/blight/affliction.

      Not saying vices should be illegal, but pretending like they don’t have negative consequences for the participant or the people associated with them is pretty dumb.

      1. Mountain climbing has negative consequences.

        Bicycle riding has negative consequences.

        Ballroom dancing has negative costumes.

        Life is guaranteed 100% fatal.

        What the hell point do you think you’re making — that thinking has consequences?

        1. What is with you people and your willful retardation about drugs?

          Nobody goes to a party, meets a friend who says “Let’s climb a mountain.” goes broke and breaks up a marriage/family over the course of the next several years of climbing mountains, spends 6 mos. in mountain climbing rehab, gets back on their feet, says, “My mountain climbing problem really was a drag, but it’s under control and my future’s looking bright now.” only to be rumored to have fallen off the wagon 18 mos. later and found dead on the side of a mountain 18 mos. after that.

          Nobody writes songs about how terrible existence is and how bicycle riding and blowing their own head off are their only possible escapes only to be found dead 5 yrs. later with their head blown off, at the end of a very long bike ride.

          If I’m making the argument that thinking has consequences, you’re doing your best to demonstrate how you avoid those consequences at all costs.

          1. Nobody goes to a party, meets a friend who says “Let’s climb a mountain.” goes broke and breaks up a marriage/family over the course of the next several years of climbing mountains

            Nobody gets addicted to heroin that way, either.

            Nobody writes songs about how terrible existence is and how bicycle riding and blowing their own head off are their only possible escapes only to be found dead 5 yrs. later with their head blown off, at the end of a very long bike ride.

            Sounds like a Cobain reference. But weirdly your anecdote doesn’t mention the drugs at all, almost like they’re not fully relevant as a causal explanation for Cobain’s troubles.

            1. Nobody gets addicted to heroin that way, either.

              You’ve taken the poll and got the hard data to show it, right?

              Square = Circle
              March.2.2020 at 5:04 pm

              Could it be that some pathologies underlie both addiction and other self-destructive behaviors? Like Carrie Fisher being bi-polar and self-medicating?

              Square = Circle
              March.2.2020 at 5:18 pm

              But weirdly your anecdote doesn’t mention the drugs at all, almost like they’re not fully relevant as a causal explanation for Cobain’s troubles.

              Go fuck yourself with your post-modern, “The truth can never really be known, except when I say so.” bullshit. You’re not fooling anyone.

              1. You’ve taken the poll and got the hard data to show it, right?

                It’s something I’ve researched quite a bit, yes. I’ve also got several heroin addicts in my family (and alcoholics, for comparison), and I’ve had several friends get involved with heroin both casually and not.

                So yes. I’m confident asserting that going to a party and trying heroin is not the primary situation that heroin addicts are coming from.

                Go fuck yourself with your post-modern, “The truth can never really be known, except when I say so.” bullshit. You’re not fooling anyone.

                I’m not the one claiming to have peered into these people’s souls to know the exact causes of their deaths. I do know something about heroin addiction and alcoholism, and I do know that in each of these cases the addictions look like an also-ran in the ’cause of death’ category.

                I’m sorry you can’t stop having such a simple-minded opinion of this, but it’s not Post-Modernism that’s causing that.

                1. I’m not the one claiming to have peered into these people’s souls to know the exact causes of their deaths.

                  I’m not either. I’m quoting the people who nearly died, recovered (or didn’t) and tell(told) their tails.

                  I’m sorry you can’t stop having such a simple-minded opinion of this, but it’s not Post-Modernism that’s causing that.

                  I’m sorry you’re so personally invested in this but your refutations and claims to superiority of understanding (despite an admitted lack of it) of the inner workings of addicts minds don’t hold up to the mountains of both clinical and anecdotal evidence of their behavior.

                2. I’m not either. I’m quoting the people who nearly died, recovered (or didn’t) and tell(told) their tails.

                  You brought up Carrie Fisher and Kurt Cobain, neither of whom left personal accounts of their deaths. Cobain unambiguously was suicide, and came on the tail of multiple attempts over the course of several months. Fisher had a long and very public struggle with mental illness, and had a number of drugs in her system, heroin having been the least of them.

                  That you think the drugs caused the mental illness in each case rather than the addictive behaviors being of a piece with the mental illness just shows that there’s jack shit behind your opining on addiction. And I’m not being hyperbolic – you’re demonstrating that you literally just don’t know the first thing about what you’re talking about and you should just stop.

                  I’m sorry you’re so personally invested in this but your refutations and claims to superiority of understanding (despite an admitted lack of it) of the inner workings of addicts minds don’t hold up to the mountains of both clinical and anecdotal evidence of their behavior.

                  Uh huh. And what is it that I’m saying, as far as you’re concerned?

                  Because in my opinion I’m saying that heroin addiction is no worse than alcoholism and is in fact in many ways better. Which is very, very well supported by “both clinical and anecdotal evidence.”

                  Are you prepared to make an argument to the contrary? I encourage you to actually do so, because the mental diarrhea you’ve been cutting loose so far hasn’t actually been grounded in any sort of argument.

            2. No one gets heroin at parties. They don’t get it from other people at all. It just appears. Or something.

              1. You get offered heroin at parties all the time, right?

                Right?

              2. No one gets heroin at parties. They don’t get it from other people at all. It just appears. Or something.

                The depression fairy drops it off. Not every case of depression gets it though, it helps if the depressed person to be visited by the depression fairy knows people who have access to heroin or knows people who know people who do. Also, these gatherings of people who know other people aren’t parties. If you’re depressed and you get together with people to watch GOT and one of those people knows someone who’s got harder drugs than the ones that everybody normally has with them, that depression combined with the totally-not-a-party event could trigger a visit from the depression fairy.

                1. ^ Clearly hasn’t the foggiest idea how heroin addicts use heroin or how they get involved with it.

                  “Heroin Parties!” Yeeeaaah!

                  1. “Hey, bros! You know what should make this episode of GoT sooper cool? Some smack! I got a little over at the college dorm! This should totes be better than weed!”

                  2. ^ Clearly hasn’t the foggiest idea how heroin addicts use heroin or how they get involved with it.

                    ^Assumes heroin dealers, users, addicts have special observational powers that prevent them from offering or using in the vicinity of ‘normies’ and that ‘normies’ never encounter users or use naturally let alone can conceive of it.

                    ^Further assumes, despite rampant abuse of heroine and opioids, that he’s the only one who knows someone who’s been addicted or OD’ed.

                    1. ^Assumes heroin dealers, users, addicts have special observational powers that prevent them from offering or using in the vicinity of ‘normies’ and that ‘normies’ never encounter users or use naturally let alone can conceive of it.

                      You can be incredibly dense when you want to be.

                      Let me ask you this – how many times have you gone to a party and been offered heroin? I’ve been offered heroin several times, not once ever at a party.

                      But just to be big-hearted and conciliatory, yes you could call the types of gatherings where people get together and do heroin “parties.” Technically speaking. I’ve also known people who use heroin casually, and may go to parties while on it, but I’ve not known anyone who consumes heroin that way to get addicted to it.

                      I’ve also known a fair number of alcoholics, who in my experience also don’t become alcoholics just by drinking at parties.

                      But just to be perfectly clear, what’s the point of talking about parties?

                      ^Further assumes, despite rampant abuse of heroine and opioids, that he’s the only one who knows someone who’s been addicted or OD’ed.

                      Do you have something you’d like to share? Besides declarations regarding my state of knowledge, that is?

      2. The majority of reformed heroin and alcohol addicts freely admit that sober is the way to be and/or recognize of their own volition that the drugs are a crutch/disease/stigma/blight/affliction.

        I’m unclear how this responds to what I said about heroin not being worse than alcohol.

        pretending like they don’t have negative consequences for the participant or the people associated with them is pretty dumb

        Who did that?

        What I said was that the average heroin addict does better at holding a job than the average alcoholic, and that many heroin addicts in fact lead long, fairly productive lives.

        Are you shocked when you find an alcoholic is able to hold down a job and live into old age? If not, you shouldn’t be shocked when a heroin addict manages the same thing, because if heroin is bad for you, alcohol is an order of magnitude worse. Alcoholics are infinitely more unstable, more unpredictable, more violence-prone, and are subject to vastly worse long-term health effects than heroin addicts.

        Do you know what killed Janis Joplin? Alcohol. Jimi Hendrix? Alcohol. Gram Parsons and Jim Morrison both died from opiates . . . combined with alcohol. Kerouc? Alcohol.

        Should I go on?

        1. Although it should not be overlooked that the supply has become highly unstable and unpredictable with the addition of fentanyl. There may not be anything to do about that. I am in favor of decriminalization but don’t think it will change that.

          1. Although it should not be overlooked that the supply has become highly unstable and unpredictable with the addition of fentanyl.

            Yes – and consistency in the supply has always been a major factor in death-by-illegal-opiate.

            Because opioid addicts are actually notoriously good at understanding their dosing, and given a consistent supply of predictable purity addicts will essentially never unintentionally overdose. And that’s consistent with fentanyl overdose cases I’m familiar with – person didn’t realize they were taking fentanyl and took way too much. Another problem whose solution is legalization.

            And the sad irony is that fentanyl is just the latest refinement of drug manufacturers thinking they can find an opiate that isn’t addictive. That’s how we got morphine, heroin, and oxy, too.

            1. Fentanyl was developed and used for decades as a short acting reversible medical agent in anesthesia. It still is very useful. Hardly anyone outside of the medical community had even heard of it.

              Later it entered a limited use in patch form for intractable pain refractory to other agents.

              It has been only recently that illicit labs learned to synthesize it and introduced it to the illicit trade.

              I am all for decriminalization but government approved heroin I doubt will solve the problem. We see that with pot today. There is still an underground market. Also many addicts are in the closet. They are not going to sign up for government heroin and you know what a convoluted mess they make of those things. There is a medical marijuana program in my state. It is a total failure.

              1. Interesting history on fentanyl – I had merely heard that there was excitement because somehow the low dosage was supposed to mitigate the addiction issue, or something. It struck me because that’s exactly how both morphine and heroin were first regarded – the former as a solution to the “Opium Problem” and the latter as a solution to the “Morphine Problem,” but there may be some folk history bound up in there.

                I am all for decriminalization but government approved heroin I doubt will solve the problem.

                It depends on what problem you’re trying to solve. My experience with addicts has been that you can’t solve their problem. They can, maybe, but you can’t.

                Legalization simply becomes the logical corollary to that – throwing addicts in jail doesn’t solve their addiction problem, but it does give them a whole host of new problems to go along with the existing one.

                I live in CA where we have full recreational MJ and, yeah, if you define the problem as “people are using MJ,” legalization doesn’t solve it.

                It does solve the problem of having to meet a sketchy guy in an alleyway who could be selling you god-knows-what, and the problem of purveyors shooting each other in the streets over market share.

                Legalization-of-everything arguably would also do a lot to mitigate opioid overdoses by removing the unpredictability in dosage.

                But we certainly shouldn’t oversell legalization/decriminalization as a ‘solution’ to addiction. Because it clearly isn’t. It only can help mitigate unnecessary second-order problems.

            2. Oxy was the one on your list developed and marketed as a safer analgesic with low addiction potential. We know now that is not true.

              With the others they were just developed by chemists fooling around with opium derivatives looking for more useful forms they could market. Morphine of course the most successful and still is. Heroin which is a morphine derivative never got much medical use. It produces a long lasting high which recreational users prefer.

              1. I’m probably conflating their invention with their marketing. When I was researching all of this most heavily was in the context of making an anti-prohibition argument, so my sources were heavy on “and here’s the next stupid thing they did!”

                1. Few years back had a root canal and the endodontist gave me some oxy pills. I remember by the third day thinking “you know this stuff is really nice”. So I know I am one of those who needs to watch it but I can understand how you can fall into that nice warm quicksand.

                  1. I feel fairly blessed in that I don’t really enjoy opiates. Times I’ve had them I was glad to be off of them when I was done. My daughter’s the same way. Must be something about body chemistry.

  9. Unicorn is such a NIMBY

  10. It is a shame that they are not going to at least try. It would be interesting to see what results they would get.

    The people who would use such a center are not the Keith Richards of the world obviously. These folks are actually shooting up in alleys and public restrooms. If they had homes or even cars they would go there.

    So it is a public problem and a public health issue. It is possible that a center like this could do some good. It obviously would need to show a positive outcome while improving the situation in the area.

    1. I’d be interested to see them try it in your neighborhood.

      1. I would be ok with that I would probably volunteer to help but we just don’t have the customer base here. There may be drug users but they are in their suburban houses. The reason they are targeting this area is there are already a large number of homeless street addicts.

        Doing nothing is always an option.

        1. Nice to be safe in the ‘burbs, isn’t it.

    2. You can’t put drug infested zombies near good society.

      Such places have to be removed to remote areas, and no homeless person should be assisted with drug use.

  11. It is actually. Life is pretty good here.

    I have a soft spot. I won’t say why but I have lived long enough to know. Give these people a chance. Sometimes they can surprise you.

    1. They’ve had multiple chances. It’s time or ‘them’ to get out of the way of good society.

  12. At some point, we have realize that a quick death may be the best policy and path.

    We can’t keep wasting money on people who are a waste to society.

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