SEATTLE (AP) – Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine say they’re going ahead with plans to create safe injection sites where people can use heroin or other opioids under the watch of medical professionals.
Advocates say such sites save lives and can connect users with health services, which is crucial as addiction levels have skyrocketed. A 40-member task force convened last year recommended opening one safe-injection site in Seattle and one in another part of King County. They would be the first such sites in the U.S.; their exact locations have not been determined.
Murray and Constantine say they want to adopt all of the recommendations the task force made, which also include focusing on prevention and increasing access to treatment on demand.
King County has already made 1,500 overdose-reversal kits available to law enforcement, treatment providers and shelter staff.