By Mark Ackerman
DENVER (CBS4) – City Council President Albus Brooks put his full support behind a proposal to create a supervised injection facility in Denver, where intravenous drug users could “shoot up” under medical supervision.
Last year, 174 people in the City and County of Denver died from drug overdoses. The goal of the supervised injection facility would be to reduce the number of preventable deaths from heroin and other drugs by having medical personnel present while users inject.
For Brooks, the decision to support the initiative was personal.
“I had cancer and a 15 pound tumor was removed last year,” Brooks told a crowd of roughly 100 people at the downtown Denver Library on Tuesday. “In the hospital they give you some crazy drugs and I got hooked on opioids.”
Brooks said he had strong medical support from his doctors to “figure out how to get off them,” but realizes not everyone has that support.
“We are all effected by this,” he said. “It’s not just people on the streets, it’s everybody. So we need to do something now.”
Brooks and the Harm Reduction Action Center, which runs a needle exchange near the Capitol, are urging supporters of a supervised injection facility to write their council members to help make the plan a reality.
“I know some people will be scared out of their mind,” he said. “But this is a data driven solution that works.”
No timetable for introducing the proposal to city council has been announced.