Should N.H. Consider Safe Injection Sites?

Mar 27, 2018

With New Hampshire struggling in the midst of an opioid crisis, we look at a controversial idea - creating safe places for addicts to inject drugs without fear of infected needles and with access to overdose medication. Several cities in the U.S. and Canada are considering this form of what's called "harm reduction" as a way to address rising overdose rates as well as the public health crisis.  But it is a controversial idea, seen by others as indulging and encouraging addiction.  

This program is part of NHPR's Crossroad project, a station-wide look at the addiction crisis and its impact on the state. 

GUESTS:

  • Martha Bebinger - she covers health care and other topics for WBUR in Boston.  
  • David B. Goldstein  - Franklin Chief of Police and chair of the legislative committee of the NH Chiefs of Police Association. 
  • Tim Lahey - physician and ethicist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, he is also the director of education at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. 
  • Ella Nilsen - Vox Media reporter.  She has investigated the possible "epidemic of epidemics" from continued use of dirty needles.

Read Tim Lahey's op-ed which describes why he thinks hospital should offer safe drug-use rooms.

Vox reporter Ella Nilsen wrote about how rising intravenous drug use has created new public health epidemics.

NHPR's Paige Sutherland went to Germany and reported on her visit to a safe injection site there.