Bay Area officials push for Gov. Newsom to sign safe drug consumption site legislation

ByRyan Curry via KGO logo
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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State Sen. Scott Wiener and other local lawmakers are pushing Gov. Newsom to sign a bill allowing safe consumption drug sites to open in California.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- State Sen. Scott Wiener and other local lawmakers are pushing Gov. Newsom to sign a bill allowing safe consumption drug sites to open in California. If he signs, San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles would open sites for people to use drugs under supervision.

"More people are dying today from drug overdoses than before the war on drugs started," Sen. Wiener said during a press conference in the Tenderloin. "Had we passed this bill and signed this bill into law as it should have been, how many lives could have been saved?"

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People would be able to bring drugs into these sites and use them while a trained supervisor monitors them for symptoms of overdose. These supervisors will be trained in issuing safety measures like Narcan.

"It is a way for people instead of using outside, to come inside in a very clean, hygienic, safe setting," Sen. Wiener said. "People can offer them treatment and offer them clean needles so they don't get HIV or hepatitis. It would be like a medical center."

Other states have implemented these sites, and Bay Area lawmakers say they work in limiting overdose deaths and lead to drug prevention. They say San Francisco is on pace to lose 600 people this year to overdoses. That is why they want this site built as soon as possible.

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"These sites are overdose prevention programs first and foremost," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. "We see at least one person a day in Highland Hospital, our public hospital, with overdose symptoms."

The bill is waiting to be signed by Gov. Newsom, who has not signaled whether he will sign the bill or not.

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