BOSTON (CBS) — In an effort to combat the opioid crisis, some lawmakers are looking to create places where people can shoot up under the supervision of medical professionals.
The Boston City Council held a hearing for the controversial initiative Monday.
The Massachusetts Medical Society is asking the state to pursue a pilot program under the supervision of a task force. That task force, according to the MMS, would choose the number of locations. The proposal is now being considered by lawmakers at the State House.
One proposed clinic would be in Boston.
The sites would provide clean needles and doctors and nurses could administer naloxone to combat overdoses. They encourage drug users to enter treatment, as well.
City Council members and residents were able to share their opinions, both for and against the idea, at the hearing.
One woman in support of the clinic explained,”I am a person who uses drugs. I would use a SIF (Supervised Injection Facility) if available. My safety net right now consists of doing a slow shot, testing for fentanyl presence with a strip and immediately after injection continuing to text back and forth for a few minutes to ensure that someone would know if I overdosed and may hopefully get to me in time to save my life if something went wrong.”
Others said they would not like a clinic near their home.
Testimony from experts on both sides of the issue was also present, according to the statement.
The Massachusetts Medical Society published a report citing data from Vancouver, Canada, which opened an injection site called Insite in 2003. The report states that Vancouver has seen a 35-percent decrease in opioid deaths since opening the site.
City Councilors Annissa Essaibi-George and Frank Baker are sponsoring the bill.
In a statement, they said six people a day die of accidental overdoses in Massachusetts.