King County could open safe sites for people to inject or smoke hard drugs

SEATTLE (AP) — A King County heroin task force has endorsed the creation of a public space where people can inject and smoke hard drugs under medical supervision.

The Seattle Times reports ( ) the site would give drug users access to clean needles, anti-overdose medications and treatment opportunities. It's meant to keep people from using drugs in public restrooms, alleys and homeless encampments.

Task force member Dr. Jeffrey Duchin says the group, which formed in March, is working on releasing a formal proposal for the site next month.

Proponents of a "safe consumption site" point to a similar housing operation in Seattle, where 75 alcoholics can drink in their rooms and have access to on-site treatment services. Studies show the operation saved taxpayers $4?million in housing and crisis services annually and decreased alcohol consumption in residents.