Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Calls On Congress To Support Supervised Consumption Sites

Philadelphia, Seattle, and several other cities and counties around the US are considering the establishment of supervised consumption sites. Supervised consumption sites, also known as overdose prevention sites, are harm reduction interventions that save lives, improve public health, and enhance public safety.

The Department of Justice has threatened legal action against states, municipalities, and social service nonprofits that intend to open an SCS. In response to the DOJ's threats, Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) has introduced an amendment to the Justice Department appropriations bill that would prevent the DOJ from spending any funds to interfere. The amendment states:

None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to prohibit States and localities from establishing or implementing safe consumption sites.

On June 17, 2019, the Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial board called on members of Congress to support Rep. Jayapal's amendment. They wrote:

The opposition for supervised-injection sites is loud, but might not be representative. A recent public opinion poll by Pew Charitable Trusts shows that 1-in-2 Philadelphians supports a supervised injection site.

A recent Drexel study found that support in Kensington is even higher — 90 percent of 360 surveyed residents.

Members of Congress representing Philadelphia could show their constituents that they are paying attention by supporting the Jayapal amendment to give legal protection to supervised injection sites — and pave the way to save lives.