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Philly Safe Injection Site Facing Community Opposition

Safe Injection Site

With the opioid epidemic continuing to roar on and the number of drug overdose deaths too high, one nonprofit is pushing to open a safe injection site in the City of Brotherly Love to aid in the problem.

Safe injection sites, also known as supervised drug consumption facilities or supervised injection sites, are places where intravenous users can go to safely inject illicit drugs under the supervision of medical personal. The idea behind these sites is to reduce the number of drug overdoses as medical staff are present to administer immediate and life-saving medical assistance if necessary. Often, these sites also offer other resources for drug users, such as needle exchange programs, and encourage users to enter opioid rehab or get other forms of professional treatment.

Community Upset about Proposal for South Philadelphia Safe Injection Site

Earlier in 2019, Safehouse faced a legal battle in their quest to open the first facility of its kind in the United States. Ultimately, safe injection sites were ruled legal by the federal government, but now there is another speed bump in the road that has put the project on hold.

The uproar began when Safehouse, the nonprofit hoping to open the site, announced it plans for a safe injection site in South Philly. Many people had assumed the nonprofit would open their facility in Kensington, a drug and crime-ridden neighborhood that has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, but news of a different plan sparked community interest.

Safehouse delayed the opening to talk with concerned community members, but they were met with uproar. Not long after, the building owner decided to not move forward with the lease because of these concerns, and now there could be more legal trouble ahead.

Because the safe injection site is facing community opposition at such a large scale, a new bill that would classify the site as a “nuisance health establishment” could end the project altogether. This classification would require mandatory public approval that is currently not necessary. How this support would be measured is still up for debate. Many people fear that getting the community to approve the safe injection site is too much and that the safe injection site will never open now.

While some are opposed, many are in support of opening a safe injection site in Philly. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Tom Farley has said, “As health commissioner, it is my job to prevent unnecessary deaths in Philadelphia…Overdose prevention sites are one way of doing that. Taking that tool away from us would mean that people whose lives could be saved will continue to die unnecessarily of drug overdoses at home, on the street and in public.”

As a Philly drug rehab, we are continuing to watch this story closely. Too many people are dying from opioid overdoses, and for now, safe injection sites are still not an option.

If you or someone you care about has a substance abuse problem, do not hesitate to get help. Our Philly PHP could just save you or your loved one’s life.

If you are ready to get more information or to take that first step, reach out to us today at Banyan Philadelphia by calling 888-280-4763.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Philly Safe Injection Site Facing Community Opposition
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