An upstate New York mayor has stirred up controversy with a plan to combat the growing heroin epidemic in his city by opening a facility where addicts can legally shoot up.
Mayor Svante Myrick claims his plan does not amount to “enabling or condoning” heroin use.
Via ABC News:
The mayor of Ithaca, New York, is getting attention for a new plan to fight intravenous drug use, and he detailed his radical strategy today.
Mayor Svante Myrick spoke during a teleconference today on the 65-page plan aimed at combating increasing levels of addiction in Ithaca.
The plan, the outlines of which were unveiled Tuesday, grabbed headlines after Myrick said he wanted to consider at 24-hour supervised facility where drug users could use drugs under clinical supervision and without threat of arrest.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro challenged Myrick’s plan on social media:
I invite @SvanteMyrick to Dutchess to see how we tackle addiction in a compassionate manner w/o enabling a serious & dangerous addiction.
— Marc Molinaro (@marcmolinaro) February 24, 2016
In an interview with TWC News he countered, “[It’s] creating a scenario where you’re administering this drug and sort of condoning it, and it’s dangerous.”
Dutchess County offers an alternative plan to just giving up on addicts and allowing them to feed their addiction.
Molinaro explained, “… provide (addicts) the right treatment … so that we can help them return to a life of sustainability and independence, away from drug use.”
Damien Baveye at the Ithaca Journal writes that Myrick’s policy is one of “illicit drug accommodation.”
“It’s the viewpoint that, having failed an element of our society so spectacularly, society is best served by simply removing their attendant impacts from public view,” he added.