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US Attorney vows to arrest any medical professionals who set up a safe-injection site

US Attorney Andrew Lelling vowed today to go after any center that lets opioid addicts shoot up under medical supervision.

Some public-health experts and doctors in the Boston area have proposed a "safe injection" site where addicts could inject drugs under medical supervision - with the idea that they could not only be assured of immediate medical attention but could be tied into treatment programs that could help them break their habits. They point to the success of a program in Vancouver, BC in reducing overdose deaths through its facility.

But the top federal law-enforcement official in Boston is saying: Forget about it:

“Supervised injection facilities” would violate federal laws prohibiting the use of illicit drugs and the operation of sites where illicit drugs are used and distributed. Employees and users of such a site would be exposed to federal criminal charges regardless of any state law or study.

I cannot envision any scenario in which sites that normalize intravenous use of heroin and fentanyl would be off limits to federal law enforcement efforts.

Lelling continued:

Providing a sanctuary to accommodate risky and lethal illegal drug use undermines all of the hard work of treatment providers and law enforcement across the Commonwealth.

The opioid epidemic requires that we remain laser-focused on prevention, treatment, and enforcement - not the normalization of intravenous use of heroin and fentanyl.

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Comments

Methadone Mile look like Newbury Street. Ya huge success!

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Voting closed 6

When are we going to address the fact that more opioid deaths are occurring in rural areas of the state? it's so easy to blame boston when the majority of deaths are occurring OUTSIDE OF BOSTON.

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Voting closed 39

Any links to info on this?

It wouldn't be surprising in aggregate, given that Boston only makes up about 10% of the state's population, but let's also not forget that Boston regularly sees an influx of people from other parts of the region and state.

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Voting closed 37

Boston has the most per town/city, while yes Middelsex has the most per county. However i would strongly suspect overdoses resulting in death are lower in Boston due to medical response times.

https://www.mass.gov/lists/current-opioid-statistics

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Voting closed 5

Although the EMS response time is a good hypothesis, the facts do not support this. Peer reviewed journal articles show that methadone and suboxone clinics have evidence showing that they treat addiction rather than reducing harm like a SIF. Globe needs to take a more nuanced look at solutions - Add methadone and suboxone clinics where they're actually needed.... Middlesex, Essex, Bristol, and Norfolk counties.

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Voting closed 33

Seems like a good argument for SIFs if you care more about saving lives than prosecuting drug users.

Boston has the most per town/city, while yes Middelsex has the most per county. However i would strongly suspect overdoses resulting in death are lower in Boston due to medical response times.

https://www.mass.gov/lists/current-opioid-statistics

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Voting closed 25

How is that a good argument for SIFs? The poster that that the urgent solutions do work, provided that cities and towns actually allow placement.

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Voting closed 29

They've really got four minutes to bring back the dead. Wether it's the FD, EMS or whomever, if someone actually codes, goes into cardiac arrest, they've got a small window. Narcan can reverse the effects of opioids, but if there's an arrest, well, not looking good.

Four minutes ain't a long time.

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Voting closed 19

I had the same exact thought. I've been to a lot of cities, but that area near Chinatown in Vancouver was probably the only area I've felt extremely uncomfortable. I lived in Baltimore's east side and I felt safer.

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Voting closed 27

Went right through the area in question on a bike and on foot and on buses.

Didn't even realize that I had gone through there until afterward. Wasn't even as bad as DTX.

So much for that.

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Voting closed 30

Let's disaffiliate from America, then.

Seriously, (expletive) this garbage country, its idiot rule makers, and the idiots who repeatedly re-elect those idiots.

Heroin exists. Period. You want to fight a war against heroin? Go drive the poppy plant into extinction. Christ, we do it with animals.* When did plants become beyond the pale?

*And we shouldn't, in case my sardonic tone eluded you

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Voting closed 33

If thats how you feel, hit Logan and buy a one way ticket !

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Voting closed 10

Without even arguing the issue? From an anon? Between midnight and eight on a summer Friday? Good work upvoting yourself.

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Voting closed 30

Why would anyone want to live and raise a child in an environment where drug addicts are coddled and allowed to shoot up all they want?

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Voting closed 28

Want to live in an environment where people are so foolish as to believe that prohibition works, despite decades of living proof to the contrary?

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Voting closed 5

I find it bizarre the people who are perfectly ok with prescription opiates are morally opposed to illegal opiates and doing anything to "normalize" it by having SIFs which saves lives, gets IV drug use off the street, and informs users how they can start recovery

I find it odd that the US Attorney would weigh in on a policy discussion about how to reduce opiates deaths.

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Voting closed 31

I'd rather raise a kid in a city where the drug addicts are doing their business indoors at some clinic than outside on a public playground where they then pass out and leave dirty needles everywhere.

Moralizers, you are actively making your own lives worse in some attempt to punish those you don't like. I'm not a huge fan of junkies either, but can we have a little pragmatism, please?

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Voting closed 6

Those people who still get to shoot up inside are going to go to the playground (where they sleep at night) to pass out.

I guess if they left the needles at the facility, it might be cleaner.

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Voting closed 25

Safe injection sites, are you kidding me ? This state can't even sell legal weed correctly. I wonder where narcan and all these other bright ideas were back when heroin was a epidemic in the black community.

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Voting closed 29

safe injection sites are part of the treatment step.

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Voting closed 32