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Assisted Shoot Ups

Grace Zook, Reporter

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Safe injection sites (SIS’s) are saving lives and maybe even ending the “drug war” here in the U.S. Safe injection sites  are facilities located in cities with high numbers of drug overdoses, like Seattle. According to TODAY, every 36 hours Seattle has an opioid overdose. These facilities provide clean needles, healthcare professionals, their own clean area/stall, and counseling and/or referrals to rehabilitation centers. A direct link of support and care to drug abusers is the main goal of these sites.

Such places have created some conflict though, people don’t always agree especially with something so controversial- lots of questioning is happening. Are these places encouraging drug use, even though that isn’t the goal? Are they creating unsafe neighborhoods? Is this legalizing drug use without us realizing it? Would money be better spent on treatment?

It is possible that people look at these centers as merely a place to not die while shooting up, but there’s plenty of proof of people coming to these centers and then starting rehab to turn their lives around. As for the negative surroundings at the centers, according to Hoodline, a single CA site could clear 415 nearby hospital strays. Also less needles and slumped druggies littering parks and alleyways.

Something the sites will not do is sell the drugs there. People come in with their own drugs, which isn’t the greatest idea. People could be getting fakes or extremely dangerous versions, not like normal heroin isn’t bad enough but versions where there’s too much of the wrong ingredient could kill you and these sites aren’t checking anyone’s substances. But it would be a bit outrageous to sell illegal drugs publicly, or offer “drug checks”, things like that could get the sites shut down or sued.

Eve Kelly, Junior was asked if she would want an addicted loved one visiting these centers she replied, “No, I wouldn’t. I think there is always a chance for everyone and instead of continuing with the addiction they should go straight to rehab. It’s a waste of money.”

As of last year there were 98 safe injection sites around the world. They are making miracles, but the numbers are low- according to CDC, last year the U.S had 2436 Hepatitis C cases, a single CA site would only help 19 hepatitis C cases, and while last year the U.S had 39,513 and only 3.3 of those would be helped by a single site.  But the state government could save at least 3.5 million in the same amount of time. (Hoodline)

One of the biggest concerns with these centers is the acceptance of drug abuse. It could be encouraging drug use with young people by showing that it can be done safely, leading to something like this becoming a norm in today’s society. Lucy Ryan, Avanti Junior says, “Although it doesn’t mean to encourage drug use or make it any more acceptable, it does seem to normalize it a bit. But I think these sites are super important for sure. They are making sure people aren’t dying alone because of their addictions.” Sophomore, Michael Lopez believes, “I do feel like it would encourage more people to go to rehab and quit because that is what the centers are mostly about and partially because of the shaming that could be involved with visiting them.”


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About the Writer
Grace Zook, Reporter

Hi! My name is Grace Zook and I'm a sophomore at OHS. It's my second year of journalism and I plan on becoming editor in upcoming years, because of my...

Student news of Olympia High School
Assisted Shoot Ups