Safe consumption: The debate

Safe consumption: The debate

In the first of a three-part series, we enter into the heated, emotional, and sometimes bitter debate around one of the most controversial policy proposals in the country.

In January 2017, Seattle and King County made national headlines: They announced their intentions to build the first two supervised consumption sites in the U.S. as a way to help combat the opioid crisis. The sites, also known as Community Health Engagement Locations (CHELs), safe consumption sites, or heroin injection sites, depending on whom you ask, are places where people can inject or consume illicit drugs legally and under medical supervision. They’re designed to prevent the spread of diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C, as well as overdose deaths, and can serve as a way to connect people to treatment and other health and social services. But lots of people and public officials both in and outside of Seattle are vehemently opposed to the idea, and more than a dozen cities in the region have permanently banned them. This is Part One of a three-part series on the heated, emotional, and sometimes bitter debate in the Seattle area around one of the most controversial policy proposals in the country.

Featuring interviews with Turina James, Joshua Freed, Jared Nieuwenhuis, and King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Music by Kevin MacLeod, Kai Engel, Nctrnm, The Insider, and Leeni Ramadan

This week’s cover photo is an image of the injection room at Insite, the supervised consumption facility in Vancouver, B.C., and was taken by Nicole Jennings.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Northwest

This October 2021 photo provided by Pfizer shows kid-size doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.
King County woman among first in state to test positive for Omicron

Omicron appears to be more transmissible than the Delta variant.

Stock photo
Kreidler asks insurers for more information on credit scores

Companies raising rates for customers with credit removed as a rating factor

File photo
Black drivers disproportionately pulled over by WSP in King, Pierce counties

A study by WSU researchers examined over 3 million traffic stops performed by WSP officers.

t
More than 129,000 kids in state receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

During first month of eligibility for those ages 5 to 11; expects to slow spread, protect children

Keith Wagoner
Senator becomes first GOP candidate for secretary of state

Sen. Keith Wagoner will challenge Democrat Steve Hobbs, who was appointed to the statewide post in November

t
Task force recommends reforms to improve state’s response to sexual assault

Recommendations include addressing shortage of sexual assault trauma nurses

File photo
As new COVID-19 variant looms, vaccination disparities linger in King County

County data shows gaps among age, geography and race.

Sen. Steve Hobbs. File photo
Sen. Steve Hobbs named secretary of state

Gov. Jay Inslee appointed the Snohomish County Democrat to succeed departing Republican Kim Wyman.

Stock photo
Children ages 5 to 11 eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

State DOH officials say pediatric vaccine will help protect children, slow disease spread

Most Read