(ReclaimingAmerica.net) – In a first for the federal government, the Biden administration will pay for a major study to measure whether so-called “safe injection sites” for heroin addicts effectively prevent drug overdose death.
Leftists have championed safe injection sites as “safe spaces” where drug addicts can take their doses of heroin and other illegal narcotics and be revived if they overdose.
AP and Newsmax reported that the US government grant would give over $5 million to Brown University and New York University to study injection sites for four years.
The researchers will observe two safe injection venues in New York City and a third one to open in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2024.
The scholars plan to sign up 1,000 adult drug addicts to study the effect of “safe injection sites” on overdoses while evaluating their costs and the “potential savings for the health care and criminal justice systems,” the report notes.
In their announcement of the federal grant on Monday, the universities said the funds would not go towards operating the respective “safe” sites.
In 2021, the United States saw almost 107,000 drug overdose deaths, the highest number ever, leading supporters to put extra effort into advocating for the venues, also known as “overdose prevention centers.”
Opponents of the idea are concerned that the safe sites would only promote drug use while worsening surrounding neighborhoods.
“There is a lot of discussion about overdose prevention centers, but ultimately, we need data to see if they are working or not and what impact they may have on the community,” commented Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which awarded the grant.
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, a pro-decriminalization NGO, “safe drug injection sites” exist in 14 countries, including the US, Canada, France, and Australia.
The first such venue was opened in New York City in 2021, while in 2022, Rhode Island became the first state to authorize the sites officially.
Also, last year, the governors of California and Vermont vetoed laws for safe injection sites, and last week, Pennsylvania’s state Senate voted to ban them.
Other states that have considered allowing such facilities include Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico.
“The grant marks another move by the Biden administration toward what is known as harm reduction, a strategy focused on preventing death and illness in drug users while helping them get care, as opposed to punishment,” AP comments.
It adds that Biden’s Justice Department has “signaled” it would allow “safe” drug use sites, while the drug control strategy of the Biden White House has become “the first to emphasize harm reduction.”
The new study observing heroin injection sites will be part of a “harm reduction research network” established in December 2022 by the National Institutes of Health.
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For the first time, the U.S. government will pay for a large study measuring whether overdoses can be prevented by so-called safe injection sites, places where people can use heroin and other illegal drugs and be revived if they take too much. https://t.co/y2TKeYTulo
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) May 9, 2023