© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

As drug treatment practices evolve, how do we continue to support those suffering through addiction?

Marchers advocating for more drug treatment options [shutterstock]
Marchers advocating for more drug treatment options [shutterstock]

In late 2021, the first so-called 'safe injection sites' opened in New York City.

The two locations, more formally referred to as 'Overdose Prevention Centers'; serve as locations where individuals can use certain illegal substances without legal consequence - and with the supervision of a trained staff.

With U.S. drug overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending in April 2021 topping 100,000 - advocates of safe injection sites facilities argue that those sites are a step society should use to push drug users towards other forms of treatment.

Opponents virulently argue that the sites merely legitimize illegal drugs, creating a social experiment they contend has deadly consequences.

So far, safe injection sites haven't spread beyond the two that have opened in Manhattan - and even those remain controversial in the city for myriad reasons - but conversations around reimagining and improving drug treatment programs across the country ...continue.

On today’s program we'll look at some of the shifting attitudes in drug treatment programs, and what organizations are working toward in rethinking how we address addiction.

This isn’t just safe usage sites, but providing the community with fentanyl test strips, and looking at how to incorporate housing and workforce development for people coming out of addiction.

- Daniel Lettenberger-Klein, Chief Executive Officer, Stella Maris

- Joan Papp, MD, Medical Director, Office of Opioid Safety, MetroHealth

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.