This is a pretty hot topic in Victoria right now. They are considering implementing "safe injection sites" for drug users here. Vancouver already has one, and the mayor is in favour of it. They have not yet decided if or where a safe injection site might be located, but it's definitely being considered.
Alan Lowe (the mayor) went to Germany and Switzerland to witness their use of safe injection sites and see if their model could potentially be followed in Victoria. I believe Vancouver is piloting a 3 year program that has federal approval and is it's own "model." But I think the German and Swiss models were the ones we might end up with here.
What do you all think about safe injection sites? I personally think it's a good idea. Drug abuse isn't going to go away and can't simply be swept under the carpet. To stem off the spread of HIV and other blood transmitted diseases, I think it's a good idea to provide users with locations where they can be sure that they will be safe if they need a "fix." I believe it's also intended to help with other needs such as counselling, and while I think that's a good thing, I doubt it will actually lessen the number of users.
I think having drug abuse simply ignored or having people just hope it will go away is not going to actually deal with the problem. I don't think drug use will ever really go away. People will get caught up in it regardless of how well known the downfalls of drugs are. I would like to see it made safer, because if we are going to have to live with it, the less amount of danger associated with it, the better. Potentially, if people are provided with sterilized needles and a safe place to inject, maybe that would result in less HIV positive individuals ending up in our hospitals... and less disastrous overdoses on the street and elsewhere.