Top Federal Drug Official Says Safe Consumption Sites Are Proven To Save Lives As DOJ Weighs Ending Legal Battle

Top Federal Drug Official Says Safe Consumption Sites Are Proven To Save Lives As DOJ Weighs Ending Legal Battle
MJ moment

A top federal drug official tacitly endorsed the idea of authorizing safe consumption sites where people could use currently illicit drugs in a medically supervised environment, arguing that evidence has effectively demonstrated that the facilities can prevent overdose deaths. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director Nora Volkow commented on the harm reduction model at the STAT Summit last week. She separately talked about the path forward for researching the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics to inform drug development. While Volkow has frequently promoted harm reduction policies to treat addiction like a public health issue, her remarks about safe injection facilities stand out, especially as the Justice Department is in active litigation that started after the Trump administration challenged the opening of such a center in Philadelphia. The official declined to specifically say what she would do if she were president and the lawsuit was dropped, but she said that safe consumption sites that have been the subject of research “have shown that it has saved a significant [percentage of] patients from overdosing.” In the conference appearance remarks, portions of which where earlier reported by STAT, Volkow said that she’s personally followed up with clinics that provide the service to ask whether they’ve had success even with stronger opioids like fentanyl entering the illicit market, and she’s been told that the sites are reporting zero overdose deaths. “Yes, it’s preventing people from dying,” she said. “We need to look at it as a solution in context,” adding that expanded distribution of naloxone is also contributing to saving lives of people who use drugs. The comments represent one of the strongest positions in favor of safe consumption sites to come from a federal official, and they’re all the more notable given the federal government’s position in a lawsuit that’s so far blocked…

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Source : Top Federal Drug Official Says Safe Consumption Sites Are Proven To Save Lives As DOJ Weighs Ending Legal Battle

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