A bill in Sacramento would make California the first state in the country where drug users could be provided with a place to inject.
The bill's author says the measure is aimed at reducing overdoses and other problems caused by drug abuse.
"In the U.S. we have criminalized rather than treated addiction as a medical or social issue," said Assemblywoman Susan Eggman (D-Stockton). "Our prisons are full of people suffering from issues of addiction. Being able to provide a safe place for someone to use also increases the likelihood that they [will] get into rehab."
Eggman's bill would allow cities and counties to authorize the creation of facilities "supervised by healthcare professionals or other trained staff where people who use drugs can consume preobtained drugs, sterile consumption supplies, and access to referrals to addiction treatment."
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Laura Thomas, deputy state director of the Drug Policy Alliance which co-sponsored AB 186
Dr. Damon Raskin, M.D., chief medical advisor for Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center; he is an internist board-certified in addiction medicine