Lawmaker wants supervised drug shoot-up sites

Posted at 11:30 AM, May 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-11 07:54:31-04

A member of the New York State Assembly wants to make supervised injection facilities a reality across the state.

Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan is throwing her support behind SIFs in an effort to curb heroin overdoses. The facilities would provide counseling to people who are struggling with addiction as well as a safe supervised environment.

"Addiction is a public health crisis and we must address it as such, with aggressive, community-based solutions that reduce harm and provide access to life-saving treatment services," Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal adds, "While our ultimate goal is of course sobriety, that path is often long and hard, and it's not always a straight line. As a state, we have a responsibility to protect the public health, to meet drug-addicted individuals where they are and leave them in a better place. This is the goal of safe injection facilities." 

Rosenthal is the first assembly member to come out in support of SIFs. However, she is not the only lawmaker in the state to come out in support of this.

The mayor of Ithaca made headlines earlier this year after he proposed an identical proposition, citing a federal study that gives figures on the number of overdoses that have occurred between 2000 and 2014. 

Cities in Canada and in overseas countries such as the Netherlands and Australia have implemented SIFs due to the opioid epidemic. 

Rosenthal and advocates of SIFs are currently drafting legislation that will allow SIFs to operate in New York. If passed, New York State would be the first state in the nation to have supervised injection facilities.