In a few weeks' time, California may become the first state to legalize injection sites for IV and other drug users.
A bill, AB 186, would allow "specified counties or cities within those counties" to establish "supervised injection services programs" with the aim of preventing overdoses and the spread of HIV and other infections, reports NBC4 media partner KPCC.
The injection sites would have to be clean and be supervised by a health care professional. They would also need to provide hypodermic needles, the overdose reversal drug naloxone, and referrals to drug treatment.
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"If we treat people humanely, if they're coming in and they're forming a relationship, we are much more likely to treat those abscesses, much more likely to catch early rates of infection, much more likely to save lives," said Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, who authored the bill.
The bill has passed the state Assembly and is awaiting a Senate vote in a couple of weeks.