Public defenders and criminal justice say drug possession isn’t a crime that warrants a felony charge, which can yield prison time.
It joins three other communities around Colorado using state money to offer housing, job training and mental health services to people instead of incarceration.
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.
For more than four decades, Arapahoe House provided an array of treatment services to about 5000 people a year, meeting a key community niche.
Denver non-profit Sobriety House says it has beds and programs available, but needs increased financial support to take on more clientele.
Arapahoe House, which treats about 5,000 substance abuse cases a year in the Denver metro area, is scheduled to close January 2.
Having police, school nurses, drug users and family equipped with kits to reverse an overdose saves lives, doctors say. But reversing addiction requires follow-up care that many users aren't getting.
A 17-year-old Adams City High senior is trying to quit her heavy pot habit in a groundbreaking treatment program adapted for schools.