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Committee Holds Hearing On Bill To Set Up Safe Injection Sites

A proposal before state lawmakers would establish two locations in Maine where people with substance use disorder can safely inject drugs.

The facilities would have staff trained to prevent overdose deaths and connect people to support services. At a public hearing Monday before the legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, Dr. Noah Nesin of Penobscot Community Health Care cited studies on safe injection sites in other countries that have shown positive results.

“The opening of this facility does not increase the use of drugs, does not increase, crime, does not increase trafficking,” he says, “but does decrease public use of drugs, and decreases discarding of used needles.”

No one spoke against the bill, but supporters acknowledged that safe injection sites would violate federal law.

Originally published April 1, 2019 at 4:05 p.m. ET.