Senate passes bill to ban heroin injection sites

Yesterday, the Senate passed legislation to ban the creation of heroin injection sites in Washington State.

Senate Bill 5223, would require local health authorities certify that no heroin injection site operates within its jurisdiction in order to receive state funding.

“We must invest in compassionate treatment options,” said Sen. Mark Miloscia, R-Federal Way. “Do we really want to become the heroin capital of America? If we move forward with these sites will attract users and dealers from across the country.”

On Jan. 27 King County and the city of Seattle announced their intentions to move forward with plans to build two heroin injection sites. One site would operate within the city limits of Seattle the other would be located somewhere else in King County at a location to be determined later.

One similar site has been in operation in Vancouver, BC since 2003. In that time overdose deaths caused by illegal drugs has increased nearly 80 percent. British Columbia experienced 914 overdose deaths in 2016, making it the deadliest year on record.

Miloscia added, “Toleration is not compassionate, it is a signal of defeat. We cannot give up on drug users. In the end, these sites will only distract us from getting resources into real, medically proven treatment options.”