The Boston City Council is worried about creating supervised safe injections sites for drug users.
The council met during a working session about opioid abuse. Currently, there are bills before the Legislature that would allow safe injection sites in the Commonwealth.
Some councilors worried about crime impacting the community because of these sites.
“They’re going to keep using, so how are they going to get the money to sustain that addiction,” asked councilor Ed Flynn.
Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George recently toured similar facilities in Vancouver and was fearful after what she saw. She is visiting Toronto next week to see more but so far, she said she is not in favor of those sites.
Some councilors worried that these sites would create a “Methadone Mile” and would just draw more drug abusers to the area.
However, other councilors said they could be in favor of the idea.
“This could prevent more deaths,” councilor Kim Janey said.
The council believes there needs to be more certified sober homes throughout the city. Currently, most of the sober homes are in Janey and councilor Frank Baker’s districts. For every bed available, there are 30 people looking for that bed according to the council.
“What are we doing for folks in other places,” Janey asked about residents dealing with substance issues who don’t live in her district. “Addiction knows no boundaries.”
Essaibi-George said Boston would most likely need more than 100 safe injection sites throughout the city in order for them to be useful to people.
“We need a lot,” she said. “We know people won’t travel far for them.”
She also said the council will need to have several more meetings surrounding these issues to learn more and develop local policies.
“This is sort of a data dump right now,” she said. “This is going to take a few sessions.”