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VOCAL-WA Pitch For Safe Injection Facility in Seattle

February 29, 2016
Casey Jaywork

"James is part of a group called VOCAL that aims to take realistic steps to lessen the impact of drugs in Seattle. More specifically, they’re beginning a campaign to win public support for bringing safe drug sites to Seattle.

These sites are sort of like a clinic. Users come in and consume their preferred drug in a clean environment under medical supervision, so if they overdose they can be saved. Counselors would also be available to connect willing users to a treatment program, housing, or other services.

James says the sites could help address many Seattle residents’ complaints about heroin use in neighborhoods. She predicts the sites will lead to fewer syringes on streets and fewer overdosed bodies in alleys. “There’s really no reason for all of this overdosing to go on or all of this infection to be happening,” she says.

The most common argument against sites like these—already deployed in other countries—is that they encourage drug use by eliminating the risk of jail. James says such arguments are bogus."

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