The New Dealer

  • December 4December 2018 Edition

“Safe Spaces” In NYC?

Melanie Justiniano, Reporter

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The opioid epidemic has been an issue for years, which has resulted in the deaths of many people. On top of creating serious addiction and overdoses, heroin usage can put users at risk for diseases like, HIV and Hep C. In addition to putting themselves at risk, users who consume illegal drugs in public, put innocent people at risk. For example, syringes in a Bronx park has been an issue, which has recently started to get attention. A park is where children should be able to roam free. Rather than having fun at the park, children avoid the park, because it is such an unsafe environment. To resolve this issue, the Bronx has placed boxes, so that users could dispose of their syringes. There are doubts that it would actually work, because that’s not in a user’s mindset.  Government officials throughout the year have been attempting to battle the opioid epidemic, in which Major Bill DeBlasio has offered a solution.

Mayor DeBlasio has proposed “safe spaces” for drug users to use illegal drugs, like heroin. These “safe spaces” are facilities where users can use, while under supervision, this is used to prevent overdoses, on top of injection-related diseases. The facilities/ overdose prevention centers, and would provide clean syringes. There have been facility examinations across the world, for example in Europe, and their results show that drug usage related diseases decreased(HIV and HEP C), as well as overdose related deaths. Australia and Canada have used the proposed method with success.

The topic of “safe spaces” is extremely controversial, despite the fact major city officials have considered safe spaces. Critics argue that safe spaces would lead to more drug use, and more addiction. Others believe that it would motivate non-drug users to start using, because they would be in a safer environment, and not have to worry about consequences.

The fact of the matter is that drug usage is not legal, and there is no reason why there should be facilites that practically condone drug use. Realistically, tracking dealers, and users isn’t something that happens over night, but cutting off a source means cutting the supply. Which is better than letting drug use at all, because the more that is used, the more addicted the person becomes. Who’s to say that after they leave the “safe space,” they won’t use again? People should be punished for doing something illegal, and if others believe that users need sympathy, create better rehabilitation facilities, that not only focus on getting rid of addiction at the moment, but preventing relapses.

Rehabilitation facilities, though not all, are supplied with cigarettes, and that simply isn’t okay. These corrupted facilities that are not “preventing” addiction, are allowing their patients to become addicted to worse products. Realistically, they are just picking their poisons. They are stuck between choosing cigarette-related cancers, or drug-related diseases. Modifying rehab places is a must, and “safe spaces” simply aren’t. Most experiments show that there’s been a decrease in drug use related diseases, but that doesn’t mean there’s a decrease in addiction; which is the source of the problem.

A smart decision, however, is creating medicine that saves people’s lives once they begin to overdose. Naxolone reverses the effects of an overdose of heroin and painkillers. People who know addicted users could help their loved ones, once they overdose. Most importantly, they should try to help rehabilitation. The topic is extremely controversial, and covers a serious topic that has gotten worse over the year. If the facility can lessen/ eradicate addiction, on top of preventing overdose deaths, the facilities should be placed everywhere. If they cannot do that, the plan should be modified, or removed.

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“Safe Spaces” In NYC?