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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOrganizers of the daylong forum, which included a coalition of nonprofit health and social-service groups, acknowledge that it could take years to get such a facility. Along with legal hurdles , the effort would be almost sure to face political opposition. Bertha Madras, deputy director of demand reduction for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, called San Francisco’s consideration of such a facility “disconcerting” and “poor public policy.” “The underlying philosophy is, `We accept drug addiction, we accept the state of affairs as acceptable,”‘ Madras said. “This is a form of giving up.” Sixty-five similar facilities exist in 27 cities in eight countries, but no other U.S. cities have considered creating one, according to Hilary McQuie, Western director for the Harm Reduction Coalition, a nonprofit that promotes alternative drug treatment methods. “If it happens anywhere in the U.S., it will most likely start in San Francisco,” McQuie said. SAN FRANCISCO – City health officials took the first tentative steps Thursday toward opening the nation’s first legal safe-injection room, where addicts could shoot up heroin, cocaine and other drugs under the supervision of nurses. Hoping to reduce San Francisco’s high rate of fatal drug overdoses, the public health department co-sponsored a symposium on the only such facility in North America, a four-year-old Vancouver site where an estimated 700 intravenous users a day self-administer narcotics. Hundreds of community activists and health workers attending the forum also discussed what it would take to get a similar service going in San Francisco. “Having the conversation today will help us figure out whether this is a way to reduce the harms and improve the health of our community,” said Grant Colfax, director of HIV prevention for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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