Target: Ed Murray, Mayor of Seattle
Goal: Establish safe-consumption site for people addicted to heroin to reduce overdose and disease transmission.
The U.S. is facing a public health crisis with heroin addiction taking the lives of thousands of people each year. In an effort to decrease overdose deaths, disease transmission, and used syringes being left in public spaces, the city of Seattle is considering the creation of a safe-consumption site where heroin users can safely use while under medical supervision. While this may seem like an unorthodox idea, it is time for every effort to be made to combat our nation’s current heroin epidemic.
A safe-consumption site in Seattle would be the first of its kind in the U.S., but not in North America. Vancouver, B.C. has a safe-consumption site called Insite that has been open for 13 years. Multiple studies of this site show that it has saved lives, decreased transmission of diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C, and has encouraged users into addiction treatment.
While the current death rate for heroin users in the U.S. is one in every 100, there have been zero deaths at Insite. Seattle is a prime location for the efficacy of a safe-consumption site in the U.S. to be tested. In 2014, deaths due to heroin overdose were the highest they’ve been in the city in 20 years, and in January of 2016, 800 used syringes were found on downtown streets.
The heroin epidemic is a huge problem that is dangerous to both users and non-users, and it is essential that we begin trying new solutions. Insite in Vancouver offers a hopeful example, showing that the creation of a safe space for addicts to use their drugs may help save lives and get more people get into treatment. Please sign the petition below to show your support for the creation of the nation’s first safe-consumption site for heroin in Seattle.
Dear Mayor Murray,
Seattle has been hit hard by the heroin epidemic that is plaguing our entire nation. As you probably know, there were 156 overdose deaths in King County in 2014, and this is the highest number in 20 years. With addiction on the rise and used syringes being found in the streets, it is time for Seattle to consider new options for fighting the heroin epidemic, and this is why I believe that you and city officials should support the implementation of a safe-consumption site for heroin users.
I realize that offering heroin addicts a safe place to use their drugs may seem like a backward solution to this problem, but there is evidence coming out of Vancouver, B.C. that safe-consumption sites may be a very successful method for combating addiction. Insite is a safe-consumption site that has been operating in Vancouver for 13 years, and multiple studies show that its presence has saved lives, decreased disease transmission, and promoted addiction treatment. Essentially, giving heroin users a space where they can use drugs under the supervision of medical professionals decreases chances of overdose, while also increasing their access to individuals who can help get them into treatment.
The heroin epidemic in our nation is a deadly and terrible problem that is claiming the lives of thousands of people each year, and it is time for new methods of intervention to be attempted. I believe that positive results coming out of Vancouver show us that safe-consumption sites may be an effective tool in combating heroin addiction in Seattle and across the U.S. Please help those struggling with addiction by supporting the establishment of a safe-consumption site in Seattle.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Psychonaught