What changed her mind? George said that the commission presented her with an “overwhelming amount of research” demonstrating that these facilities reduce overdose deaths and needle-related infections; encourage users to seek treatment; and reduce public drug use. Studies have also refuted concerns that the facilities encourage drug use and increase crime.
At least 85 safe injection sites exist worldwide, according to the commission’s report. A number of U.S. cities, including Seattle, Ithaca, and San Francisco are working to establish safe injection sites, although some of these proposals have encountered pushback.
To address concerns about drug users driving away from a facility while under the influence, George wants medical screenings for all visitors before they depart.
If legislation passes, the Howard Center's syringe exchange, Safe Recovery, would likely host an injection facility for Chittenden County, George said.