Heroin injection sites banned in county areas

Mar 21, 2018

On March 14, the Snohomish County Council unanimously adopted Ordinance 18-014, banning heroin injection sites in unincorporated Snohomish County. County Councilman Nate Nehring introduced the ban following a temporary moratorium adopted in September 2017.

“We need to focus our resources on the increasing demand for law enforcement, social workers, and bed-space in treatment facilities,” said Council Chairwoman Stephanie Wright, whose district includes Edmonds.

Heroin injection sites have recently been discussed by local governments in the greater Puget Sound Area as an approach to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic.

Edmonds City Council members have recently said they are opposed to such a site in the city.

County Councilmember Nate Nehring toured Insite, the heroin injection site in Vancouver B.C., to see these sites first-hand.

"I was stunned by what I saw" Nehring said following his visit. "There is nothing safe or compassionate about enabling addiction and perpetuating the real suffering that addiction causes these individuals."

“I appreciate the work of Councilman Nehring on this ordinance” said Councilmember Sam Low. “We must support innovative solutions to this crisis rather than these dangerous sites.”

Snohomish County has made a strong commitment to combatting the heroin and opioid epidemic.

The Law Enforcement-Embedded Social Worker and Jail Diversion programs are innovative approaches to improving prevention and treatment options for addicted individuals.

“This ban helps protect our neighborhoods,” said Council Vice-Chairman Terry Ryan. “We will continue to evaluate effective ways to combat heroin addiction.”

“I am proud of Snohomish County for taking this important step to ban heroin injection sites and I look forward to working with our council and other partners to implement lasting measures to fight drug addiction in our communities,” Nehring said.

 

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