There are very few who do not know about or have experience with the massive opiate epidemic that is sweeping across the nation.  Every single day, more and more people are falling into abusing opioids, whether it be through smoking, ingesting, or injecting.  And the rates of overdose have exploded along with this, being that opiates tend to be the most common drug to overdose on.  There have been many different initiatives put in place to attempt to reduce the amount of use and overdoses throughout the years, and one that has been increasing as of late is the implementation of “safe spaces.”

The Benefits and Downsides of Safe Spaces

Safe spaces are dedicated facilities in which users are essentially allowed to use their drug of choice while being provided a clean and sterile environment and needles.  They are also able to do so without the fear of arrest or prosecution.  At first thought, this may seem completely asinine and outlandish, but they do have some amount of benefit.  The reality is that overdose is becoming an all too common condition, and it is leading to deaths all across the nation.  With safe spaces, the person is provided a sterile environment and tools with which they can use, which assists in lowering a large part of the risk that can be associated with use.  Dirty needles and an unsterile environment can be the sources of a large amount of potential risk for users and public alike, as an individual could develop infections or diseases, as well as leave needles around in public spaces where they have used.  Plus, staff at these safe space centers include medical professionals which can attend to medical needs if need be.  This also includes them carrying naloxone, a medication that can reverse or cease the effects of an overdose, which can save someone’s life.

Though, there are potential downsides to these safe spaces as well.  For instance, there is the factor that these facilities are allowing individuals to use without any repercussions.  It could be looked at as essentially enabling addicts in their use.  There is also the consideration that these facilities could increase the rates of drug use, though this seems to be an unfounded concern when looking at research in regard to Insite, a Vancouver safe injection site.  While these centers may not lead to increased use, it does technically provide a way for individuals to continue their use without as much concern in regard to certain health conditions, or legal repercussions.  But, there is also a bright side to the increased amount of individuals attending these sites, and that is the fact that they can be referred to treatment.  There are many individuals out there who may want help but do not necessarily know where to look or who to ask.  Some may have their moment of clarity at the center and be able to immediately have someone that they can ask for help.  When looking at Insite, between its opening in 2003 and 2015, there had been 5,368 referrals to social and health services, 464 referrals to Onsite detox center, and 262 who had completed treatment.

Finding Help with a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Attempting to overcome addiction can be an extremely long and arduous battle, but it is not impossible.  There are many treatment facilities all across the country that can help a person to finally be able to achieve their sobriety.  Though with the massive amount of facilities out there, it can make it tough to know which one to choose, but we are here to help with that.  Our staff members are skilled at finding the right treatment that fits all of the needs and wants of a struggling individual.  Give us a call today, and we will find the perfect fit in a treatment center for you or your loved one.

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