“They didn’t cut out the stuff that’s expensive, or the stuff that’s hard to do, or the stuff that makes the place look bad,” said Gastfriend, who has consulted with several states, cities, and foreign countries on addiction issues. He called the report a model for other cities, saying that the task force “seemed to want something that was scientifically valid, meaningful, a true guide to things needed for dealing with this epidemic.” He was impressed that the report not only seeks to expand use of medication-assisted treatments like buprenorphine but seeks to track how many get it.
A safe injection site would essentially decriminalize possession and use of illegal drugs, requiring cooperation from local law enforcement and acceptance from the public. The idea is gaining support in this country, most recently with the American Medical Association’s endorsement in June of developing pilot facilities to test the concept in this country. The AMA based its decision in part on a comprehensive study issued in April by the Massachusetts Medical Society , which concluded that injection sites help addicted people but would pose a legal risk to doctors and medical staff who oversaw people injecting illegal drugs, unless the medical professionals were granted a legal exemption.