Statement from our CEO on Safe Injection Services

More than 20,000 people in San Francisco use injected drugs, often openly in parks and on our sidewalks – conditions that endanger the health and wellness of communities. The city is considering a response: Safe Injection Services (SIS).

SIS prevent overdose deaths, curb the spread of hepatitis C and HIV, and reduce the number of discarded needles littering our streets. Safe Injection Services can offer linkages to healthcare, including treatment for addiction, and can save the city and its taxpayers $2.33 for every dollar invested.

With the opioid epidemic raging across the country and a crisis of homeless in San Francisco, now is the time to create safe spaces where those who use injected drugs can receive high-quality care delivered with respect.

This win-win program can be a gateway to recovery. In fact, a study shows a 30% increase in usage of detox services. SIS is a great opportunity to put more San Franciscans struggling with addiction on the path to recovery, guided by nonjudgmental staff ready to support those wanting to change their lives.

Today, the San Francisco Health Commission accepted the Safe Injection Services Task Force’s recommendations on safe injection sites. As an SIS Task Force member, I am proud that the city of San Francisco is taking a leading role on this issue, and I look forward to working with the state and city governments on legislation that provides a legal framework for operating these sites.