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Monday, April 15, 2013

Controversial Safe Injection Site Saves Lives

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In a number of places throughout Europe there are safe injection sites that are funded by the government in an attempt to save lives. So far in North America the idea has only been accepted at one location and it probably comes as no surprise that it can be found in Vancouver, British Columbia. The government-sanctioned facility, called InSite, medically supervises the injection of illegal drugs - but not without controversy, according to CNN.

If one is addicted to an illegal drug they can safely bring and use the substance at the facility, without the risk of arrest. Upon entering the facility addicts are provided clean needles to reduce the spread of potentially legal infections, like HIV and hepatitis C; when administering the injection users are supervised by a nurse.

In 2011, The Lancet, a popular medical journal, published a study that found InSite reduced fatal overdoses by 35 percent in a neighborhood that has one of highest rates of drug addiction in the country.

Despite saving lives, the Canadian federal government is not in favor of the facility, reports CNN. Fortunately, the Canadian Supreme Court made a ruling that allowed InSite to stay open, which flew in the face of the federal government's hopes. InSite claims that for every tax dollar spent to keep InSite open, four are saved, by preventing more expensive medical care in the future.

Countries where "injection rooms" currently operate are:
  • Switzerland
  • Norway
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • Australia
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