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Reader Poll: Should There Be Safe Injection Sites in Boston?

The Boston City Council discussed supervised safe injection sites for drug users in a recent working session. Currently, there are bills before the Legislature that would allow safe injection sites in the Commonwealth.

Insite in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

The Council debated the topic with arguments both for and against. Those who support these sites say it could prevent more deaths from overdose, while those in opposition worry about attracting more drug users and crime impacting the nearby community.

Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George recently toured similar facilities in Vancouver. Insite, in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, is pictured above. The facility has clean injection supplies and trained staff who can respond to an overdose. They’re also affiliated with recovery centers, so can help people who ask about treatment. Other U.S. states have visited the facility to see if this could work in their cities.

What do you think? Should Boston have safe injection sites? Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below.

Web polls are unscientific and reflect only those who choose to participate. polls do not have any official significance and are only intended for the interest of our readers.

22 Replies to “Reader Poll: Should There Be Safe Injection Sites in Boston?

  1. Very bad idea that will create more problems than the one it’s trying to solve. The money should instead be speant on counseling, rehab treatment and LAW ENFORCEMENT. Many addicts steal & deal to support themselves. Instead of throwing in the towel, arrest addicts when they break the law and sentence them to treatment facilities instead of jail.

  2. Just look to some of the other cities on the West Coast as a model of what happens when cities take a hands off approach to enforcement and instead effectively enable. Boston will become a haven for many if addicts know they can’t get in trouble, only to enflame an already troubling situation. Slippery slope….

    1. The West coast states don’t have our winters. During the winters they will become a flop house which will turn into battle zones once they are couped up for a while. Even Vancouver’s winter is milder than ours. Like all the City’s bad ideas, this will reflect in higher taxes or continued street neglect.

  3. I’m torn because right now the library and coffee shop bathrooms in the North End aren’t safe.

    1. why is that? Most coffee shops will not let anyone use the bathrooms unless they are a paying customer. The people at the front desk in the library control who gets the key. Are you saying every café an coffee shop in the North End is letting addicts shoot up and endangering their customers?

      1. Just an FYI, anyone can walk in off the street and use the bathrooms in the public library. The only bathroom that needs a key is for the bathroom in the back of the library. The two bathrooms at the front of the library have had numerous used needles left behind and other dangerous situations in those bathrooms have occurred over the years. Seems to be happening more frequently now. If I am not mistaken, there was even talk of getting a needle disposal box for the bathrooms.

  4. This does nothing to alleviate the drug problem or help those that are addicted. It is a PR move that is the easy photo opportunity for the Walsh administration. What good did the $27M tagged in 2015/16 for opioid dependency do besides posters on the T? Put the effort and dollars towards rehabilitation, counseling, and security.

  5. I can guess that everyone that votes for this thing does so with the expectation that these sites won’t be here in the North End. You can bet the Councilors aren’t going to have it their backyard either. They haven’t siuggested where these places will be located and our Councilor is from East Boston. A good survey question would be; Would you like to live next to an injection site?

    1. Good point. I don’t want to live next to an injection site. I almost don’t want to live in the North End with all the drugs and homeless I have seen over the last few years. I feel sad but then I feel angry and then I feel guilty. I am for treatment.

  6. I’ve said it several times the focus has to be on treatment and recovery. If your not providing the addicts treatment your just operating a “shooting gallery” and ignoring the problem and the problem is drug addiction .This proposal may help somewhat with preventing people from shooting drugs in a library but it doesn’t address the major problem .

  7. This is not a very good idea at all. Providing these sites will do nothing to help the addict but will merely enable further drug use. I doubt that the 47% who voted yes for this would like them placed next to their residence. Think about the property owner next to this facility. What would that do the property values of abutting real estate if you wanted to sell? Would anyone like to live on the streets in SanFrancisco where hundreds of homeless people live in total squalor and rodent infestation is rampant. This all starts with wanting to help in all the wrong ways. I totally agree with T. Mobile-Sprint on this one. Treatment is the correct solution. Let’s be passionate not enablers!!

    1. I’m hoping the 47 percent aren’t the ones who need the injection site. In that case having one next door would be convenient.

  8. This is insane, what the hell is wrong with you people, god damn help the addict dont condone them
    Open places up get them the proper help
    Not a five day spin out to get the habits down
    It should be mandatory, this was the sickest ideaa i have ever heard.

  9. I would agree with drug treatment, but I’m a little afraid of having our Councilors decide what is proper. Seems like their track record of dealing with this problem is horrible. I have read in the best situations where the parents spend $100 of thousands only have a fair success. Recidivism is frequent. But the biggest issue is the adict going back to the drug culture. Free injection sites will perpetuate the culture and return former addicts to their former life. Free needles and injection sites keep people hooked. And lastly, I don’t see where open border restricts the free movement of drugs.

  10. Wait! Isn’t it against the law to use drugs???

    So, let’s build an injection site so people can break the law and use drugs legally???

    This isn’t the same as passing out condoms to promote safe sex. This is a ludicrous idea.

    I’m all for treatment. This is NOT treatment.

    1. I think Patrick Chung of the Patriots can answer that question better than me . It makes no sense that drug dealers are are arrested and prosecuted while drug posession and using is OK? The State and City are failing these people who need treatment. Their aren’t enough programs or beds which is one of the problems , someone wrote that the City officials are condoning this behavior. I say the City is aiding and abetting drug use. The idea of “injection sites” would be laughable if the issue wasn’t do serious. Where do these geniuses propose to open the sites ? Probably on the methadone mile where the City has ignored and looked the other way at what goes on there everyday and that’s been the case for years So I have zero confidence that the City council is skilled enough to formulate a plan to deal with the drug problem that’s only going to get worse.

  11. Here’s an idea. Why doesn’t the City Council and the Mayor open a test program in Parkman House, next to the State House? The property is already owned by the City and serves no other purpose than to entertain foreign investors and developers, so turning it into a drug injection site will save the hardworking Boston taxpayers a bundle.

    Considering that it’s just across the street from the Boston Common, home to literally hundreds of illegal drug users, it would prove most convenient to those addicts who can’t take the time out from panhandling to find a place to shoot up. Plus, it’s just a stone’s throw from Park Street station, so it’s accessible to those drug users in outlaying areas who aren’t lucky enough to call Boston Common their home. I think it’s a win-win idea!

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