In Colorado there is a fatal overdose every nine hours and 36 minutes. 174 people died of overdose just in the City and County of Denver in 2016. Nationwide, this statistic is counted in minutes rather than hours as overdoses have now surpassed deaths caused by both car accidents and gunshots. It is a serious challenge but, fortunately, one that has a solution. Supervised use sites bridge the gap between people who inject drugs and public health interventions that are proven to reduce the spread of HIV and viral hepatitis and also prevent fatal overdoses. In fact, of 102 SIFs currently operating around the globe, not one has reported a single fatal overdose on its premises.
What does this mean to our business community? Denver currently lacks proper public health interventions to significantly reduce rates of public injection, something many businesses experience in the form of people utilizing public bathrooms to inject as well as open injecting in common spaces such as parks, sidewalks, and alleyways. These venues are neither sterile nor safe and, sadly, are often the very places where people, without proper supervision or intervention, die of overdose. A Denver supervised use site would significantly impact rates of public injection and would serve to help connect our marginalized citizens to evidence-based healthcare and support.
In essence, a supervised use site would help remove people who inject drugs from parks and business bathrooms into a controlled, staffed, and medical environment.
How can you help?
Sign our pledge to support an evidence-based intervention to prevent disease and death in a manner that meets the needs of our citizens and our community’s businesses.
Support the opening of a supervised use site in Denver for a healthier and safer community. We ask Denver to take all necessary steps to authorize and establish supervised use site as a public health intervention to reduce overdose deaths, HIV and viral hepatitis transmission, increase public safety, while promoting access to drug dependency treatment and other supportive care.