Denver City Council considers creating legal drug injection site

DENVER -- The Denver City Council is considering a pilot program to allow a legal drug injection site in the city.

Supporters of the plan say 1,000 people died of overdoses in Colorado last year. It's estimated emergency services respond to almost three overdose cases each day.

A supervised site, supporters say, would save lives and money when it comes to hospital stays and treatment.

"We know people are publicly injecting outside in parks, in alleys," supporter Lisa Raville said. "Not only are they injecting, there, they are dying there.

"We believe we can do better by bringing them out of the public sphere and into a controlled environment where no one has to die of an overdose."

A heroin user injects three to five times a day and some on cocaine uses 12 to 15 times a day on average, Raville said.

There are legal drug injection sites in 10 countries and in 63 cities, she said.

Opponents believe the plan would only enable addicts and end up increasing drug abuse.

The program would designate one supervised site in the city and the pilot program would last for three years.

The plan would also have to be approved by state lawmakers.

A hearing in front of the council at the City and County Building begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

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