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Doctors in Massachusetts want safe place for people using illegal drugs

Many countries in the world have safe supervised injection sites to tackle the problems associated with drug abuse. However, the United States is severely lagging behind in this regard. The nation has hardly such facilities for drug users where they can inject drugs intravenously under the supervision of an expert.

Switzerland, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Spain Australia and Canada are some of the countries to have such facilities for drug users.

With an eye on opening such centers in Massachusetts, doctors in the state are urging the authorities to take a decision on this issue. The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) is going to vote in April for setting up of such units, where drug users can safely inject drugs under the vigilance of an expert. All the trustees are convincing their members to vote in favor of a supervised injection site to pilot this month.

Bringing drug users under the ambit of supervision

Quoting Dr. Dennis Dimitri, former president of MMS and chairman of the society’s task force on opioids, the Boston’s WBUR said, “It’s about trying to get individuals into an environment, where they have a much better chance of surviving their substance use disorder, to a point in time where they actually are able to make progress in recovery.” He felt that such a step would benefit drug users.

If implemented, it will be an epoch-making decision for the U.S., as supervised injection sites are the best means of keeping heroin and opioid users safe and alive. Such sites, manned by medical professionals, have well-stocked shelves with clean needles and Naloxone, the overdose reversal drug.

Safe way for those willing to quit

These needle centers can also promote sober life and help those who want to quit drugs. They can have a candid tête-à-tête with addiction treatment experts and decide on the course of action. They would gain a clear understanding of the right kind of therapies, including medication-assisted therapy and behavioral therapies, among others.

Even for those who are indecisive about whether to quit drugs or not, such centers can protect them from dying or contracting dreaded communicable diseases like HIV or hepatitis. These facilities are running successfully and are immensely popular the world over. Countries like Iran are also running such centers seamlessly.

Though legal and morality issues regarding these centers do come up, the intention behind them helps quell all apprehensions of the skeptics. There is always a probability that some people might oppose or take potshots at such initiatives, but Dimitri contradicts this and said, “We felt that the ethics of doing this were justifiable, that putting a program such as this in place would do more benefit than any harm.”

For people like Nicholas Chiu, a second-year Boston University medical student who brought the idea of bringing drug users under the supervision of the medical society, any such apprehensions are baseless and he strongly feels that skeptics will see the value of SIFs if they look at the results from other countries.

Dealing with addiction

People who fail to quit drugs early on often have to face the wrath of its consequences. Prolonged addiction is always fatal. However, addiction is treatable with timely intervention. If you or a loved one is addicted to a substance and is looking for drug rehab centers, call the 24/7 Recovery Helpline for Drug And Alcohol Addiction number 855-441-4405 for immediate assistance or chat online with them. Our experts can provide you with all relevant information regarding substance abuse and treatment centers best suited to your needs.

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