DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver City Council passed a first reading of a proposed supervised injection site. It would be the first in Denver, making Denver the first city in the country to open an official facility where heroin users can get high.
CBS4 visited a supervised injection site in Vancouver in 2017. Addicts bring their own drugs and are given sterile needles and other clean supplies.
Denver’s ordinance would create a two year pilot program.
Councilman Albus Brooks says the hope is to prevent deaths and the spread of disease.
“What we want to do is make sure there is a safe place where people do use, they going to use anyway, but it brings it out of the shadows and into the light a bit. If you look at other cities, states and countries, you see actual folks getting better, getting help, getting treatment,” said Brooks.
Brooks says 201 people died of drug overdoses in Denver last year.
If council approves the pilot program, it wouldn’t start until the state legislature passes a law giving drug users criminal immunity while they’re at the site.
The ordinance will have a second and final reading on Mon. Nov. 26.