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Dunn: Heroin injection sites only in cities that choose to establish the sites

Summary

“If we are to gamble with this experimental policy I am at least glad we are giving local jurisdictions the chance to decide whether the location of these sites would be right for their residents.”

Story


Metropolitan King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn today proposed legislation to prevent any county expenditures from funding heroin injection sites. Dunn’s measure failed on a 6-3 vote.

After that vote, a separate amendment, created by the majority of the council, was approved 5-4 limiting the use of county funds for establishing injection sites or Community Health Engagement Locations (CHEL) only in cities whose elected leaders choose to locate these facilities in their communities.

After the vote, Dunn released this statement:

“I am strongly against the implementation of heroin injection sites. I would rather see these resources go instead towards funding the proven treatment methods we already have and exploring new ways to support prevention, intervention, and treatment.

“It would take just one deadly overdose, one lawsuit, and King County tax payers could be picking up the tab for a policy choice we created that in turn created liability for the County.

“If we are to gamble with this experimental policy I am at least glad we are giving local jurisdictions the chance to decide whether the location of these sites would be right for their residents.”

The King County Seattle Board of Health, made up of some local elected officials, doctors, and officials, voted unanimously in January to endorse the sites, which would be the first of their kind in the nation. Safe injection sites, or locations where people would be supervised while using heroin, were part of over 30 recommendations of the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force.
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