California Lawmakers Approve Bill Authorizing Safe Consumption Sites

The California Senate this week passed a law authorizing safe places of consumption in the state, taking another step in efforts to curb the sharp rise in drug overdose deaths. The bill, Senate Bill 57 by Democratic Senator Scott Weiner, passed the Senate on Monday after gaining approval in the California legislature a month ago. The bill has now been sent to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk for consideration.

“All overdose deaths are preventable” wiener said After the bill was passed in the state legislature on June 30th, we are now letting people die in the streets for no other reason than we need to lift the arbitrary legal ban. SB 57 has been long overdue and will have a huge impact on the most vulnerable people in our community. “

SB-57 Allows four local jurisdictions to operate overdose prevention programs, also known as safe consumption sites or safe injection sites, as a five-year pilot program. The law authorizes such facilities in Los Angeles County and the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles. A statement from Wiener’s office noted that city councils or oversight boards in all four jurisdictions have requested inclusion in the law.

Overdose Prevention Center Saves Lives

Safe injection sites are places where people inject or otherwise consume drugs under the supervision of trained medical professionals who can intervene in the event of a drug overdose or other medical emergency. provide a place where you can Facilities also offer other services, such as referrals to drug treatment, housing assistance, and HIV prevention services. Safe injection sites have been successfully operating in Switzerland, Canada, and her eight other countries for years, with no documented overdose deaths among those using the facilities. .

Legislation passed this week also includes protections for professionals working at licensed safe injection sites, requiring professional discipline, civil law exempt from liability and existing criminal penalties. The California Medical Board and the California Osteopathic Medical Board would still be allowed to take disciplinary action against licensed medical professionals under this measure.

Wiener’s bill passed at a time when California and the country continue to suffer the effects of an epidemic of overdose deaths fueled largely by the opioid crisis and the introduction of fentanyl into the illicit drug supply. , the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 107,000 people died from drug overdoses last year, setting a terrifying new record for drug-related deaths in the country. From 2017 to 2020, he’s seen an 83% jump in overdose deaths in California. According to CDC data.

Safe injection site opened in New York City last year

Late last year, New York City officials announced the opening of the city’s first publicly recognized overdose prevention center. Since then, research published by the American Medical Association has shown that New York’s safe-to-consume drug sites reduce the risk of overdoses, encourage people to avoid using illegal drugs in public, and encourage people who use illegal drugs to It provides ancillary health services. Like other safe injection facilities around the world, no overdose deaths have occurred at the New York facility, and city leaders have called for overdose prevention under the Biden administration. We are seeking national support for the center.

However, opening safe injection sites is a challenge in many communities because of federal laws prohibiting the provision of illicit drug use sites. Shane Pennington, an attorney at law firm Vicente Sederberg LLP, said action was needed at the federal level to authorize safe places of consumption nationwide.

“The Biden administration has promised to bring harm reduction strategies to the fight against the overdose epidemic in the United States. Safe consumption sites are one such strategy that mounting evidence proves saves lives.” ’” Pennington wrote in an email. high times“The fact that the federal government is inexplicably lagging in implementing its strategy should not cause states to do the same. Safe places to consume save lives. We hope that we will sign it and other states will pass similar life-saving measures as soon as possible.”

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