Originally published in The Federal Way Mirror on August 19, 2017
I hope the Federal Way City Council’s rejection of safe injection sites is just the beginning of an informed conversation about how to address this epidemic in our communities. The status quo is a public health hazard, with drug use and needles in public spaces. I hope the city’s decision doesn’t indicate a reduction in their support for other effective outreach efforts. Federal Way needs to increase availability of resources, such as those provided by the Federal Way Day Center, where homeless individuals can engage with staff directly to receive essential needs, showers, treatment options if needed and other resources. Should an injection site open in our area, there are many agencies that would step up to provide services to those who are interested in beginning their journey of recovery. Safe injection sites may not be the answer for Federal Way, but the city does need to find solutions, ideally motivated by compassion and based on facts and evidence, rather than fear.
Milena Stott, Federal Way