A group of activists set up a “safe use” drug site on the side of a street in San Francisco Thursday and invited local addicts to use drugs under their supervision, according to multiple reports.
The activists set up two pop-up tents on National Overdose Awareness Day, handing out water to clean injection sites, cotton balls, several different types of needles, glass pipes, Narcan and donuts to addicts who approached the tent, according to KQED News.
Several non-profit groups also volunteered at the tent to advocate for state-sponsored safe-use drug sites in California, ABC7 reported.
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“We just want to show this isn’t scary. This isn’t nefarious. We’re doing this out in the open,” Supervisor Hilary Ronen, a San Francisco politician who has advocated throughout her time in office for safe-use sites in the city, said, according to ABC7. “It’s just watching people to make sure they don’t die. That’s all it is.”
The volunteer group handed out free supplies to addicts for future use and responded to two overdoses, according to ABC7. They plan to keep the temporary site open until the city forces them to shut down.
“We’re not putting anyone at risk, including ourselves. We don’t have to worry about kids walking by. We don’t have to worry about nothing. We can just go and feel safe,” Richard, a fentanyl addict at the safe-use site who declined to share his name, told ABC7.
Addicts who used drugs at the location praised the group’s intentions and called on the city to provide them with more locations to use drugs, according to ABC7.
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“I try to use all the drop-in resources like this, this stuff is really helpful. I always keep Narcan on me in case someone needs one,” ‘Sky,’ a 20-year-old homeless woman who requested anonymity, told KQED. “I think people would see a lot less of what they don’t like seeing, like shoplifting and stuff, if we had more of this. It helps provide things people can’t get for themselves.”
“There’d be a lot more deaths if we didn’t have resources like this. There’s no telling what would happen,” Phillip Torres, a man who lives on the streets and who has overdosed 15 times, told The San Francisco Standard. “If they got such a problem with us being on the streets, they should put us inside.”
At least 473 addicts died from overdoses in San Francisco in 2023, according to a report from the city.
The San Francisco Mayor’s Office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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