BOSTON (WWLP) – For years now, the state legislature has considered establishing safe consumption sites to help drug users across the Commonwealth.
This time last year, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts said that ‘safe drug consumption sites’ violated federal law. But, now that Andrew Lelling is out of that job, the woman who is set to replace him, Suffolk DA Rachel Rollins, has a different outlook on the proposal.
Safe consumption sites would allow drug users to ingest the drugs they bought in a safe, controlled environment. Once that user is done, they will be monitored by health professionals and encouraged to enter treatment.
For years now, the legislature has gone back and forth over what to do with this kind of proposal. Earlier this week, supporters of the plan including Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington urged committee members to get it over the finish line so that drug users could access the care they so desperately need.
“It is an absolute moral imperative that we utilize every tool at our disposal to help keep people in our communities safe, to help people who actually have a medical condition and provide them with the healthcare they need,” Harrington said.
Now, the state legislature alone can’t make these safe consumption sites come to fruition. By passing this bill, the state would be taking the first logistical step in a long complicated process. Opponents of safe consumption sites argue that they will have a negative impact on the communities they are set up in.
They would like to see the state invest more resources in drug prevention and rehabilitation.