Seattle Is Taking Notes From Vancouver's Legal Injection Site | KUOW News and Information

Seattle Is Taking Notes From Vancouver's Legal Injection Site

Mar 21, 2016

The rise in heroin use in Washington has pushed a new idea to the forefront: legal injection sites for drug users.

Monday, a City Council committee will take a look at one model that has worked.

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Vancouver, B.C., has the only supervised drug injection site in North America. Heroin users get clean needles and inject their own drugs under supervision of medical staff. Advocates say that's reduced overdoses and the spread of infectious diseases.

One of the site's organizers is visiting Seattle to teach the city's Human Services and Public Health Committee how it works.

Sally Bagshaw runs that committee. Her office says council members want to learn more about supervised sites and could take up the idea later.

Public officials have given more attention to heroin recently. Just this month, the federal government announced money for overdose prevention, Seattle bike cops started carrying overdose-reversal drugs, and King County and Seattle leaders put together a heroin task force.