With the recent rise in overdose deaths, some state lawmakers are considering a new approach to the heroin epidemic. Spinning off of the idea that countries such as Amsterdam and Australia have already set in motion, some states here in the US are beginning to think that medically supervised injection sites will be beneficial to the problem we face. What seems almost inconceivable to those of us who have experienced the gift of sobriety, a new-age “heroin-den” or “shooting gallery” is actually being talked about in states such as Maryland and New York.
In Sydney, Australia they have painted a pretty picture for heroin addicts. Instead of recognizing this as the disease that it is, where consequences and pain are usually a firsthand motivator for addicts to get clean, they take away that incentive. At a Medically Supervised Injection Center, addicts can use in a “safe” and “comfortable” environment. The first room they enter, they are provided sterile needs and the presence of nurses to administer Narcan if they overdose. After they have gotten their “fix”, they can then lounge in a room decorated with Christmas lights and the shelves lined with books, as they sip on a hot cup of coffee.
Amsterdam pushes the envelope one step further, dispersing free heroin to local addicts. A program which was created to deter addicts from committing crimes to obtain their drugs. With places like this in existence, why would anyone want to get sober? If we can use for free, with zero consequences and a warm cozy place to do it, how would we ever find our bottom? These systems do little to help the addiction problem and everything to continuously enable it.
New York State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who is currently working to push legislation to allow these sites in our country stated, “Things are getting out of control. We have to find things we can do for people who are addicted now. The idea shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. I don’t see anyone else coming up with anything new and innovative.” The hope to lower the number of deaths caused by overdose is understood, but the very presumption that these sites are innovative and helpful to addicts is ludicrous. They do nothing but prolong the inevitable.
Supervised shooting galleries are not the answer we need. Like long-term Suboxone maintenance programs, this is nothing but another method of “harm reduction.” They offer no semblance of real heroin treatment and do nothing to hold addicts accountable. If you want a chance at freedom, where you are no longer enslaved by this disease, Clearbrook Treatment Centers can help. Clearbrook has been providing effective Heroin Detox and Rehab for over 40 years, helping heroin addicts restore their lives through the process of recovery. Our mission is not to continue to keep people sick, but rather help them find a way out of a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.