Local Music Community to Support Safe Consumption Spaces in Seattle

Comments

1
BRING ON THE PROPERTY CRIME WAVE!!!!!
2
Even after reading their myths and facts, I'm not convinced, sorry to say.
3
I do not think that the safe consumption site idea is the right way to go. Instead I would be supportive of an expanded methadone treatment program. The right dosage of methadone can make any opioid addict stable so that they can function in society. Methadone is easy to take in that you ingest it orally and is pharmaceutically clean. I think it would be a much better way to go.
4
@3: First, not all drug users are using opioids so methadone is irrelevant for them. Second, while we have been in an opioid crisis for the past several years, one of the things we know for sure about drug use is that it's cyclic. Emergency room admissions for methamphetamine have been increasing rapidly over the past two years and it seems likely that a year or two or three from now we will be discussing what to do about the stimulant crisis.

Finally, while expanded treatment access (especially for medication assisted treatments like buprenorphine or methadone) is critical, the fact is not every person who uses drugs needs treatment. And many, many more are not at a point where they're interested in treatment yet. The goal here is to keep individuals alive and as healthy as possible and reduce the harm they may be causing themselves and others until they want treatment. And then, to make sure it is available on demand.
5
@3: First, not all drug users are using opioids so methadone is irrelevant for them. Second, while we have been in an opioid crisis for the past several years, one of the things we know for sure about drug use is that it's cyclic. Emergency room admissions for methamphetamine have been increasing rapidly over the past two years and it seems likely that a year or two or three from now we will be discussing what to do about the stimulant crisis.

Finally, while expanded treatment access (especially for medication assisted treatments like buprenorphine or methadone) is critical, the fact is not every person who uses drugs needs treatment. And many, many more are not at a point where they're interested in treatment yet. The goal here is to keep individuals alive and as healthy as possible and reduce the harm they may be causing themselves and others until they want treatment. And then, to make sure it is available on demand.
7
Apologies for the double post above.

@6: There are now over 120 safe consumption sites. Yet all Seattle opponents talk about is InSite. And if it is a failed experiment, why in the hell is Canada rushing full tilt boogie into opening new sites all over?

Your comment about leading to increased injection use is exactly the same argument that was used against syringe exchange as is directly contradicted by research and experience. Between 1989 and 1996 there were seven federally funded studies in the US and all showed that syringe exchange did not contribute to increased use.

In terms of experience: many of the consumption sites in Europe have had marked decreases in the number of folks injecting by getting them to transition to smoking (which is a far safer route of administration). In some sites up to 90% of the folks are smoking their drugs.
8
@7: Morally and ethically, all pro arguments are coming up short. Stats don't do much in this regard.
9
I still think it is a bad idea. What I cannot see is how an SCS will prevent overdoses. While I am not that familiar with opiate overdoses I have always believed that they are not instantaneous but take a little while to develop in the body of the user. If the user hangs around the SCS then sure, the attendants will be there to provide aid but more likely the user will be gone. He will go off someplace, go on the nod, and if he OD's he may well die. Providing a safe area as well as clean implements for injection will of corse be safer; maybe the attendants might provide assistance should the user have a broken arm. The goal should be to get the user off drugs not to ameliorate the conditions to use them. Methadone will work but it will only get the user stable and not high and a high opiate user is not only a potential danger to himself but to the public at large.
10
Safe consumption sites are a good start, but to knock down the property theft we need to provide free drugs and shooting rigs on demand. All the drugs would have to consumed on the premises, in a secured chamber. The user could only exit the chamber by successfully entering, oh, a 64-digit passcode.
11
@9: What you are describing sounds much more like a situation where the person is using opioids in combination with benzos and/or alcohol (which def happens), but in many situations where the od is related either to the strength or size of the dose the od can happen within seconds to minutes. And right now with the fentanyl that a lot of street heroin is being cut with, people are being found dead with the needles still in their arms. People are going into public restrooms and being found dead a few minutes later.

Over the last 30 years there have been double digit millions of discrete consumptions in these facilities without a single fatal overdose. And with the sterile equipment available and hard rules about not sharing you virtually eliminate the possibility of onsite HIV or hep C transmission.
12
Then perhaps the SCS should provide, in addition to clean syringes and a private place to inject they should provide clean morphine as well. This would make it as safe as possible all around. The user would not have to worry about being shadowed and rolled while walking into the CSC. But what to do with the user after he has the fix; he would be free to move about as it pleases him. He could go into a personality shift and really start acting crazy and hurt people in an out of control manner; I have seen that happen. No, set up methadone clinics instead, it is a proven success. Some of the methadone users I have known stay on it for life but they function normally and healthily. I've know a few others who wean themselves off by having the dose gradually lowered. Those were the ones who decided to kick the habit once and for all; it takes time but it works and is comfortable, but no, you won't be high.
13
@12: Again, medication assisted treatments (MAT) such as methadone and buprenorphine are for folks who use opioids. So what do you do for folks who use stimulants? And what do we do when the opioid crisis switches back to a stimulant crisis (as it already seems to be doing)?

Further, while getting to treatment on demand should absolutely be a goal, many (most?) of the limits on MAT access are imposed by the federal government. The restrictions around methadone treatment are unreal. Restrictions for buprenorphine are less onerous, but are still substantial. There is an effort to massively ramp up MAT availability here, but it is running up against those federal barriers bigly. In the meantime people are dying entirely preventable deaths. This does not address a core issue: keeping people alive until they are at a place where they want to quit and there are resources to help them quit.

After you change all the rules and regs around treatment and get the funding and get treatment on demand and figure out what to do about stimulant users come back to me and we can have a debate.
14
I am not writing here to debate just to offer my reasons against SCS. Initially you posited that that some opiate users were not ready to give it up, that methadone et al was irrelevant to them. So they are making the choice and should be accommodated? I do not look down on drug users, I've been there myself; I will not use terms like junkie or hop head or helpless loser. But to me this seem to make using so much easier.

As to stimulants, this is a whole different story and I believe it is being used as a red herring. Regardless, while there is, to my knowledge, no methadone-like drug, the people who inject these drugs, particularly meth, don't last very long. By the time they get to injecting, their bodies are pretty well torn up beyond repair. Cocaine, while not as harsh, is the same. Have you ever seen a person go totally crazy on stimulant drugs? And the sad thing is that the user has to do more and more to achieve the high and if they don't die by accident it's usually a heart attack. Anyhow, I have kept it civil as have you, this will be my last post on this subject so you may have the last word if you desire.
15
I sure am glad I moved far far away from this bullshit. There's no talk of SCS in my town because nobody has a needle problem in the first place. Why's it so great here again? Sportz?
16
So, if someone scores in Lake City their going to wait, take a couple of buses or maybe an Uber to the Safe Site in Pioneer Square or where ever?
17
lets take the virtue-signaling word of people addicted to attention regarding people addicted to injectables
18
And once the heroin injection sites get established, the next step will be handing out free medical grade heroin to prevent fentanyl OD's. Hyperbole, you say? That's what they're already doing in Canada, whose injection sites ours will be modelled after.

And once the word gets out, the junkies will swarm here like locusts.
19
@15:

"There's no talk of SCS in my town because nobody has a needle problem in the first place" - that you KNOW of. There is literally no place in this country where there isn't someone injecting something on a daily basis, and CDC statistics show that rural areas are only running slightly behind urban ones when it comes to general levels of substance abuse, and opioid abuse appears to be even more prevalent per capita in these areas, with indicators such as OD rates, numbers of babies born with withdrawal symptoms, and occurrences of Hep-C rising the fastest in states with large rural populations (e.g. KY, WV & NH). Just because people where you live don't talk about it, don't acknowledge it, and turn a blind eye to it, doesn't mean there's "no problem"; it just means the problem is going to continue unabated until you DO start admitting it exists.
20
Shorter @18:

"Addicts deserve to die."
21
I disagree massively with the rationale for "safe spaces". There being NO safe spaces discourages drug use. I never did get the hang of the needle thing, which meant I was NOT shooting up after my BF and I broke up. Enabling drug use is not the way to end drug abuse. Been there, done that, get real FFS. All the sad-eyes and hankies doesn't change that.
22
@20: No, it isn't.
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@21:

Your conclusion is drawn on a faulty premise. The idea behind SCS's isn't to "discourage" drug use; name one thing that DOES. Threats of incarceration don't work; civil penalties don't work; even offers of treatment don't always work, for the simple reasons that there's not currently enough capacity in rehab even for people who DO want to quit, and in many rural areas where rates of addiction are skyrocketing, treatment isn't even an option, because there's no capacity whatsoever. So, it's not about discouraging use - because nothing does that - it's about not letting people die needlessly. If not having a safe space actually accomplished what you posit, one would expect drug use to already be in decline, but in fact just the opposite is occurring. So, the rationale behind SCS's is that, if you're going to inject, then by providing safe spaces, you are less likely to OD; in short, it's about saving lives, not discouraging a behavior that has no currently fully effective deterrent. And your personal experience, while relevant to you, doesn't translate into a comprehensive public policy: what worked for you won't necessarily work for others, as the evidence strongly indicates.
24
Good Grief. What a lot of assholes on this thread.

SCS are like Abortions: if you don't like them, DON'T USE THEM.

25
@20: More like, "It's not Seattle's responsibility to become the nation's dumping ground for it's meth and heroin addicts."

Seriously, before embarking on this experiment, Seattle needs change the question from "What's best for the addicts?" to, "What's best for the citizens of Seattle?" And I'm going to go out on a limb and say attracting even more addicts from other towns and states, and the crime and other problems they bring with them, is definitely NOT in Seattle's best interest.

26
Drug abuse is a public health issue. People turn to drugs for whatever reasons and get addicted. It's sad. We can all agree with that. The stress of modern life is not doubt a contributor.
People who have family members who are drug addicts most likely don't see their kin as losers who deserve to die because they're stupid enough to inject poison into their veins (or smoke or snort or what have you). I can see their point of view. But to the rest of us, they are perceived as losers, who can't control themselves and are simply a blight on our society. Why is it our(the citizens of Seattle) responsibility to make sure they don't OD? Besides the grief of the family members, I don't really see a problem with one more junkie taking themselves off the street. It's a rough world out there folks and if a person is going to make it, they've got to be tough. You can't save everyone. You have to trust that people will look out for themselves because even in this day and age, it is survival of the fittest.

My dad was an alcoholic. Perhaps this frames my POV. Just throwing that out there.
27
Shorter @25/26:

"I am not my brother's keeper."
28
@25: there is precisely zero evidence that safe consumption site draw folks from other areas. Think about it: who is most likely to use these sites? Folks who have no other place to use except outdoors or public restrooms. How likely is it that folks in that situation going to have the capacity to move somewhere else just to have a safe place to use.

If anything would be a magnet, I would assume it would be the quality/availability of drugs. And by that metric historically Seattle was close to the bottom of the list. For years and years DEA data showed that Seattle had about the lowest purity and highest price per pure gram of any major metro area in the US. Yet, we still had tons of users. And you didn't see people picking up and moving to NY, Philly or Baltimore for good, cheap drugs.
29
@27, I can't be my brothers keeper, because he refuses my help.
30
semi-related - been reading a bit about alcohol during a dry january, and in "Alcohol: the worlds favorite drug" by G. Edwards, there is a section on the Gin boom/epidemic in 1700s england that became a public health problem. the upside is it led to the wealthy deciding to open up public parks and public museums to edify and entertain the public as an alternative to being besotted in the streets. I am personally not a fan of some of the arguably enabling type policies, but who knows, maybe if things get worse in terms of seattle being a haven for opiod users, maybe there will be some long-term good that comes from this like the parks and museums of old blighty of yonder yore.
31
@29:

You could help him by allowing him a safe place to not die...