Thursday, February 25

Mayor of NY town proposes taxpayer-funded "injection facility" for heroin addicts

Ithaca, NY, is a university town.  As such it's one of the more liberal cities in the state.  And like so many cities in the northeast it has lots of heroin users. 

As you probably know, heroin users occasionally misjudge how much they're shooting.  An overdose can be fatal.  In New York state, overdose deaths involving heroin and other opiates went from 186 in 2003 to 914 in 2012.  (Note this is for the whole state, including huge NYC.)

So the city's liberal mayor has now proposed to establish and fund a "supervised injection site" where addicts can enjoy their drug under the supervision of nurses.
“It's about keeping people alive, helping them get treatment, helping them get better, but in the meantime making sure that they live long enough to get that treatment,” Svante said.  He then added--helpfully for his liberal listeners: “Once you die from an overdose there’s no opportunity to get better, no opportunity to get treatment.”

The mayor said the facility would be staffed by nurses or physicians who could quickly administer an antidote if a user overdoses.  Addicts would also get clean syringes.

“It’s providing a safe place where they won’t overdose, where they can get treatment,” Svante said. “We’re not going to encourage more people to use, it’s just going to save lives and give them an opportunity.”
Didja catch that last?  "We're not going to encourage more people to use...."   Really?  Cuz if the liberal mayor is fine spending taxpayer dollars to provide staff to stand by to administer antidote in case of overdose, and clean needles, doesn't that remove a lot of the risk of heroin use? 

Wouldn't that make using heroin more attractive?  Accordingly, how is that *not* encouraging use?

Also, "everyone knows" that street smack is often cut with all manner of ghastly stuff, which increases the danger to the user.  So if constituents buy the mayor's reasoning about making heroin use safe, if a client comes in without his own fix, doesn't the same logic argue for the clinic to sell him a pure dose?  So now the city isn't just providing needles, but also...heroin.

Also, if a client comes in wanting a fix but without any money, wouldn't the same reasoning argue that the clinic should provide the fix at no charge?  After all, if we've established that all poor people have a right to all the food they want, and free housing, and free medical care, how can liberals justify *not* giving users something they want even more than the previous three things?

Eh, probably nothing to be concerned about.  After all, Vancouver has been running the same deal for a year or so and they're only serving 800 addicts a day, so what could go wrong?  


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