Addressing Drug Crisis in California

The drug problem in California is in the face of everyone to see. You cannot walk for long in the city before you spot a used syringe. If not so, you cannot stay long before you experience a user shooting up the syringe in plain view. This visibility has made city leaders contemplate about creating a site they refer to a supervised injection site. Should California implement this plan, it will be the first African-American city to implement such a plan. This idea was first floated by London Breed who is the supervisor of the plan. She talks about her previous program in trying to eradicate the problem in the city. She is the person behind the plan known as outreach. For starters, this is a pilot plan that was implemented in the city with the aim of creating a needle exchange program. At the same time, the program was geared towards establishing cleanup crews that would eradicate thousands of syringes used in the city. She, however, laments that the plan is not working at the moment. She further defends the needle exchange program by saying that they have existed in the United States since 1980s. Not only does these programs aid in the reduction of deadly viruses, but they also play a crucial role in luring these addicts to the public health system.

Scientifically, it has been proven that injection facilities can be crucial in achieving these benefits. This includes medical supervision and clean syringes if need be. These programs have proven to be successful in some European countries, Canada and Australia. These suggestions have been pounced by critics who argue that this is a way of normalizing drug abuse in the state. There was a bill that would have assisted in this plan last month. However, after stiff competition from law enforcement officials, the bill was narrowly defeated. A Republican lawmaker known as Ted Gaines says that he was on the opposition of this bill. The Republican Representative from Roseville says that he should not allow people to stay in misery. These efforts to establish injection sites have been motivated by the sprawling opioid crisis in the US. Studies have shown that under the age of 50 years, the leading cause of accidental death in the United States is drug overdose. At the moment, there are a close to 22,000 injection drug users in the state of California. The board of supervisors of the city will be holding a meeting this month to address the issue.


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