Rumors Fly on Local Blogs and Email
Council Member Debra Juarez puts out a statement.
“North Seattle has experienced a spike in opiate addiction rates. This spike is in line with a horrifying national trend that has seen opioid-related overdose deaths triple in the 21st century. Our community has seen a drastic rise in public drug use, discarded needles, and overdose deaths. My office has received several letters in recent days from constituents who are concerned about one proposed service model meant to counter this epidemic, a “Community Health Engagement Location” which would include a safe injection/consumption site. To clarify, I am not pursuing a safe injection/consumption site in Lake City. I am working to ensure people in District 5 have sufficient access to the medications that block the addictive power of heroin and other opiates.
Scientific consensus has shown medication assisted treatment (commonly methadone or buprenorphine) to be the only approach that has lasting effect in treating heroin and prescription opiate addiction and preventing death. My office has begun the conversation to bring more medication assisted treatment and supportive mental healthcare services to Lake City. I hope to have good news to share on this front soon.
I would also like to share with you the work of the King County Heroin and Prescription Opiates Task Force. The Task Force recently released recommendations highlighting the way forward to combat this epidemic. These recommendations address every part of the opiate epidemic, from doctors’ prescribing practices to the lack of treatment services to insufficient overdose prevention strategies. I am committed to help implement these recommendations and reduce addiction, overdose deaths, and harmful drug use in my role as your Seattle City Councilmember. It is the humane and right thing to do.”