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A new bill by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) could make California the first state to allow drug 'safe houses' where heroin and other illegal drug users could use controlled substances under the supervision of a doctor.
Assembly Bill 186 would establish drug 'safe houses' in eight different California counties where drug users would have access to sterile supplies, and be able to take their drug of choice under the supervision of staff that are trained to prevent overdoses.
“California is blazing a new trail toward a policy on drug addiction and abuse that treats it as the medical issue and public health challenge that it is, and not as a moral failing,” Eggman said in a statement. “We are in the midst of an epidemic, and this bill will grant us another tool to fight it – to provide better access to services like treatment and counseling, to better protect public health and safety, and to save lives.”
The idea is modeled after a similar site in Vancouver where drugs like heroin are used by people with a doctor standing by. The Canadian facility says it's prevented over 6,400 overdoses during its 13 years in operation.
The bill has made it through the Senate's Health Committee. The bill already passed the Assembly last month.