NE Phila. residents voice concerns over proposed safe-injection sites

EMBED </>More Videos

Residents voice concerns over proposed safe-injection sites. Matt O'Donnell reports during Action News Mornings on March 20, 2018. (WPVI)

The Mayor's Task Force to Combat the Opioid Epidemic was testing the waters in Northeast Philadelphia, to see how people feel about having a safe-injection site in their neighborhood.

The idea was not well received by most in attendance at the meeting at CORA services on Verree Road Monday night.

"Why in the hell would you put up these sites in these neighborhoods?" asked one resident.

Fox Chase residents turned out in force to hear the task force's ideas about the injection sites or CUES - Comprehensive User Engagement Sites - places where heroin users could go to safely inject heroin in a supervised setting.

"It's important that these sites be in places that are convenient to where users are currently," said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.

Officials point out that approximately 1,200 people died of drug overdoses in the city last year. That is four times the city's homicide rate. They point out that the number of deaths has been reduced in cities like Vancouver, cities with safe injection sites.

"Zero people have died in that facility. Zero," said Farley. "They save lives there."

It was evident early in the meeting that people do not want these sites in their neighborhoods.

"We don't want it in the neighborhood," said one resident. "Don't put it in the neighborhood. You don't pay the taxes in our neighborhood."

Farley said there is currently not a specific location in mind, but he understands that many people have expressed they do not want the sites in their neighborhood.

Send a News Tip to Action News
Learn More About 6abc Apps
Related Topics:
philly newsopioidsheroin6abc Opioids
(Copyright ©2018 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)