Like much of the United States, Colorado is fighting a persistent drug epidemic marked by increasing numbers of drug overdose deaths.
drug overdose deaths
Some Republicans were never sold on the concept of a safe injection site. Their belief was that it would make the problem worse and enable more drug use.
Denver’s move to host a supervised drug-use facility still needs approval from Colorado’s legislature before any action can be taken.
If approved through the Colorado legislature, a two-year pilot program would provide a safe place to inject illegal drugs. Trained professionals could prevent overdose deaths and the transfer of preventable diseases like hepatitis and HIV.
Since the program was launched less than two years ago, officers have saved at least 320 people from an overdose death.
Denver Harm Reduction Action Center is the state's largest needle exchange, taking in about 3,000 used syringes a day.
- A new measure signed into law Thursday shields those who report overdoses from arrest.Read more
"Rarely do we see a health metric that moves so quickly and is so widespread," said Tamara Keeney, a policy analyst at the Colorado Health Institute.