Currently, such facilities are illegal in the United States and only exist in Canada, Australia, and 10 countries in Europe.
Americans have responded to drug addiction in a number of different ways in recent decades. The War on Drugs of the 1980s and 90s spawned mass incarceration of Black and Brown populations. Some addicts, many of whom have some measure of wealth and privilege, are sent to rehab.
In the face of the opioid crisis of the last decade, there has been a growing recognition of the inevitability of drug use. That attitude change has led to the proliferation of clean needle exchange centers and providing overdose medication like naloxone to drugs users, their families and law enforcement.
In Illinois, one state legislator wants to provide a legal path for another approach: allowing people addicted to drugs to take illegal substances under the supervision of a medical professional.
“We know that not meeting people where they’re at to provide the support that they need to end the struggle of a substance use disorder only harms the community with loose needles [and] only harms families with preventable drug overdoses,” Ford said.
Currently, such facilities are illegal in the United States and only exist in Canada, Australia, and 10 countries in Europe. Like other legalized injection programs around the world, Ford’s proposal would not stipulate that facilities provide illegal drugs, but rather allow patients to bring in their own supply of drugs that they buy off the street.
However, Robert Bell, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chicago field division, said that places hypothetical facility staff and patients alike at risk because neither party would know the drug’s exact ingredients or potency — and does nothing to stem the tide of drugs coming into a community.
“When users purchase Heroin