ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The new push to bring supervised illegal drug injection sites to New York continued on Wednesday.
Advocates hosted a panel discussion and film demonstration at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center.
The unconventional solution to stopping drug overdoses is getting a lot of attention. Over the next few days, supporters hope to gain new backing for supervised injection sites. Albany’s Sheriff Apple tells me they won’t be getting any support from him.
“This is crazy.”
Sheriff Apple’s appalled by the push for supervised drug use centers.
“Nothing good is going to come from this, nothing. I would rather see them talk about I would go along with the medical detoxication at that point,” Sheriff Apple said.
Sheriff Apple says his department’s been battling the problem for years. He knows the face of addiction all too well and was fired up about something that seems so counter-intuitive to his job.
“First of all, it looks like we’re condoning it. We’re here to keep people safe we’re here to prevent overdoses. We’re here to keep people from using drugs we’re here to keep people from selling drugs and killing our community.”
On Wednesday, advocacy groups showed this video that demonstrates what the safe injection facilities would look like. They also hosted a panel to answer questions including health experts, former users, and supporters.
One of them, Liz Evans, a nurse from Vancouver, says safe consumption centers have worked in Canada.
“It has made a tremendous impact in the way we engage drug users into care and saved thousands of lives,” Evans said.
She says police in Vancouver now support the consumption centers because they can keep drug users off the streets.
“They actually bring them to the injection site now.”
Sheriff Apple says injection sites won’t stop users from getting their fix anywhere they see fit.
“When they need to get high they’re going to get high period they’re not going to say, wait a minute I need to take the bus down to whatever part of the county to go to a supervised injection site,” Sheriff Apple said. “Don’t tell me that they’re always going to use the supervised sites. They’re going to shoot up wherever they’re going to shoot up whenever they need to shoot up”
If you would like to find out more about the injection sites there will be an exhibit on Thursday at the UAlbany Campus Center from 1 to 5 p.m.