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California Bill Would Allow Supervised Drug Consumption Centers

A syringe and white powder are seen in this undated photo.

Credit: dkalo / Flickr

Above: A syringe and white powder are seen in this undated photo.

California Bill Would Allow Supervised Drug Centers To Prevent Drug Overdose


Dr. Carla Marienfeld, addiction psychiatrist, UC San Diego Health


California is considering opening drug consumption centers, where drug users could get high under the supervision of health care professionals.

The centers would offer clean needles, a safe environment, access to life-saving medication and referrals to substance abuse treatment.

Under AB 186, eight counties would be allowed to roll out pilot programs. San Diego is not one of those counties.

The bill was introduced in response to the nation’s opioid epidemic. Since 2000, about 3,500 people died from opioid-related deaths in San Diego County.

But law enforcement groups worry the centers will attract crime.

And efforts to block the opening of similar sites in Washington are underway.

Dr. Carla Marienfeld, an addiction psychiatrist at UC San Diego Health, discussed Monday on Midday Edition how similar programs in other countries work and what they've done to reduce overdose deaths.

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