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Battle of the prosecutors: DA, US Attorney issue conflicting statements on setting up sites where addicts could inject under medical supervision

CommonWealth reports that Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins is calling on the legislature to approve a pilot program in which health providers could create a center where people with a drug addiction could shoot up - while under medical supervision and where they would receive referrals to treatment programs.

Rollins spoke after a federal judge in Philadelphia ruled a proposed "supervised injection facility" there would not violate federal law. Mayor Walsh, who once strongly opposed the idea, says he would be open to considering the idea, after visiting facilities in Canada.

But US Attorney Andrew Lelling has reiterated his vow to prosecute anybody who sets up such a center in Massachusetts.

Despite the constant repetition by proponents of these sites, there are no reliable studies showing that they reduce overall numbers of overdose deaths or, more importantly, help addicts get clean. And, yes, people have died in drug injection facilities. Meanwhile, these sites are harmful to the communities that host them, as they attract high concentrations of drug users, followed by drug dealers, and so an increase in crime.

We’re aware of the decision yesterday by a single district court judge in Philadelphia. We respectfully disagree with it, and it is only the first step in a long process of judicial review for this important issue. As the Deputy Attorney General said yesterday, efforts to open injection facilities, including here in Massachusetts, will be met with federal enforcement.

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Comments

One of the most annoying, publicity-hungry zippos ever to appear in Boston.

Please go away; absolutely nobody likes you

This is about public health. Full stop.

Blustering and grandstanding law enforcement people need to butt out, step aside, and follow the lead of doctors and public health scientists.

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...this should be fun. What are people doing for popcorn these days? I love the kinetic suspense of Jiffy Pop on a gas range, but for sheer excitement, a circa 1980 Stir Crazy popper slightly over-loaded with a fresh jar of Orville Redenbacher can't be beat. Others?

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Pop Secret is a big one, but man, oh, man, watching the foil expand with the Jiffy Pop was a blast.

Oh course, between the DA and AUSA I would say that everything is theoretical at this stage, and will probably remain as such for a while to come. I gotta go with states’ rights on his, even though I think the idea is crazy.

Not you.

with walls. good luck!

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Expectations of behavior
Contact with medical personnel
Building of relationships that lead to placement in recovery facilities
Etc.

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Supervised injections sites would be the exact opposite of the methadone mile.

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the corollary is actually
injection site = methadone clinic
area around injection site = methadone mile

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I am totally with Andrew Lelling on this one. "There are no reliable studies showing that they reduce overall numbers of overdose deaths or, more importantly, help addicts get clean" . Common sense says put the money and staff support into various recovery treatment models including a safe and drug free enviroment. Sadly, there are few to none drug free settings in our state that provide individuals with examples of recovery and wellness without the use of substances (MAT). The folks who brought you this current "epidemic" are now bringing you newer medications and interventions to keep folks chained to the pharmacy. NO to safe injection/consumption sites.

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Your entire argument amounts to "I don't understand statistics, but I'm going to just say I don't get it so reality doesn't exist".

Citations needed.

Whatever happened to states' rights?

Gawd it's refreshing to see someone with common sense (and a focus on justice) ina position of power in Massachusetts.

I wish this guy would run for higher office.

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I prefer "leaders" who don't make up their own "evidence" and actually understand public health statistics.

Sorry, but "common sense" in this case means "validates my unscientific feels", which is no basis for public policy.

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If liquor establishments can be sued and held liable for the conduct of their patrons after serving them what will be the liability of self injection sites when their patrons suffer an overdose or their addiction becomes worse,

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duplicate

Residents and businesses on Methodone Mile can sue Marty and Charlie and the Jackass Mayor of Quincy for not reopening the island?

By that logic ...

And let drug users and dealers do their thing.
But the Politicians, District Attorneys and Judges who approve it have to live there.

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it didn't work well

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I was coming up from the south through methadone mile a few years ago and the digital sign of the car wash there said, "Welcome to Hamsterdam"

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If you put it in a neighborhood already dealing with all the addicts, it could lessen the number of hypodermic needles in playgrounds and parks.

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Kudos to US attorney on this one! The idea of tax payers paying for users to get high is nauseating. I’m not sure when society decided that funding others illegal activities is ok, but it’s refreshing to see common sense still exists.

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The alternative to safe injection sites is what we have now - addicts on the streets in every neighborhood dying a little more every day, begging for money, prostituting themselves, leaving their dirty needles and other detrius - feces, vomit, trash etc - behind.
This is a health crisis - we don’t leave other sick and dying to rot in the streets - what makes this crisis any different?
Until a better solution is created (a hospital completely geared to addiction recovery paid for by - big pharma, tobacco, alcohol, enter other names here) this seems as if it is the best solution.

Unless you are talking about the massive fraud perpetrated by the Sackler Family.

Taxpayers are paying to contain the mess and channel junkies into treatment.

This is called remediation. Your complaint is similar to "we can't have taxpayers paying to clean up dangerous hazardous waste sites". Bzzzzt.

So you would rather have taxpayers pay for massive epidemics of HIV, HepC, etc? Sure. Just write a check, please. I don't want to pay for the consequences of your ignorant posturing.

It was as soon as the drug fiends became white soccer moms. It's a "health issue" now. These people are "sick" and need "help not jail." When it was minorities in the hood during the crack epidemic the solution was to lock them up and throw away the key because they are useless members of society. Fit only for stamping licence plates, making Ray Bans and fighting forest fires for less than a dollar an hour.
Junkies sort themselves out. They die or go to jail. I'm not sure why people are in such a rush to help someone who willfully chose to stick a needle in their arm one day.

you realize that we're paying right now, right? like.... all those ambulances, the police service, the public works cleanup of discarded needles and human waste, the lost tax revenue when people don't want to go near businesses on methadone mile, those costs are all born by the taxpayers? like if you want to call it quits on all of that and let the area descend into total anarchy, that's one thing, but claiming redirecting some of those funds into a more effective site model is pretty illogical, my dude.

If Federal law is Federal law, and it must be enforced at all costs, despite what the majority of Massahuseets residents want, how are the marijuana dispensaries still in business?

Lelling seems to be assuming that everything is perfect right now w.r.t addicts.

It would be really great if you could change the language of articles about the methadone mile to person-first terminology. It is getting painful to keep reading outdated terms like "addicts". People with substance use disorders are people first, and it's not that hard to lead with their humanity followed by a descriptor of their disease. No-one says "lepers" or "epilectics" or "spastics" any more but folks just love to say "addicts".

Just like lepers still suffer from leprosy and epileptics still suffer from epilepsy, addicts suffer from addiction to something (drugs, alcohol, and so on.)

Saying "addicts" dehumanizes people and makes them nothing more than their disease. Saying "people with substance use disorders" or even "people who are addicted" emphasizes that they are people, not just the characteristics of their disease.

You are thinking of the word junkie. Addiction is a thing. Those who are addicted to something are addicts.

You’re welcome.

Love that reductive take that’s meaningless and uninformed. Let me guess, you spend a lot of time “educating” people on the internet and have zero meaningful conversations with people in real life because you’re insufferable.

In case you’d like to understand what actual people who treat the disease of addiction think about the word “addict”, might I suggest googling person first language for substance use disorders.

I never knew how triggering I've been to them.

Hey, I might have substance abuse disorder, but I've never tried heroin, so I'll never know. If I did try heroin, and had substance abuse disorder, I'd probably become addicted to heroin (since it is an immensely addictive substance.) Having someone refer to me as an heroin addict would be the least of my troubles at that point.

Show me the licensed health professional who is going to staff this nightmare. I will beIieve it when I see it.
The M. D.s who support this are not going to supervise it, they will push the dirty work off into RN's or MA' by threatening their livelihoods if they don't work it. They are making good money of "The Opioid Crisis, while front line staff struggles and neighborhoods are overwhelmed .

The conversation is so distorted. Who publishes the paper and gets a speaking gigs? Stop.

First person who dies from OD' s family has a whopping malpractice suite.