Should Maine Have Safe Injection Sites For Drug Users [POLL]
A bill before lawmakers would establish Overdose Prevention sites, where drug users would be provided a safe space to use their own illegal substances.
The locations, that have been tried in Canada and Australia, would provide clean needles to people who bring their own illegal drugs. They would be able to shoot up at the site, which would be equipped with Narcan, in the event of an overdose. Trained professionals would be on-hand to monitor them during their stay.
Representative Mike Sylvester of Portland, who sponsored the bill, says it's not about sanctioning drug use, but is about saving lives. Organizers of a rally, held outside the public hearings for LD 949 this week, said in a Facebook post that Overdose Prevention Sites are about 'compassionate care taken to its logical conclusion.'
But critics tell WABI-TV that it's the wrong way to handle Maine's growing drug problem. Representative Scott Strom of Pittsfield says he'd rather see more detox and treatment centers, instead of places where people can legally use drugs like heroin. In addition, he says that people with drugs can't be charged with possession within a half-mile radius of an injection center. He feels that would provide a safe space for dealing.
Now we're interested in what you think. Are Overdose Protection Centers a good idea?