Maryland Debates Creating A Safe House For Drug Users - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Debates Creating A Safe House For Drug Users

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BERLIN, Md.- A bill could create a safe house for drug users to do drugs in medically supervised locations.

State lawmakers in Maryland are wrestling with an idea aimed at helping drug users. That idea is called a "safe consumption facility." This bill is under consideration and would create medically supervised locations where addicts could use drugs, and not get in trouble.

When Heidi McNealy and Jackie Ball first found out their sons where addicts, they said they would have never been in favor of a safe consumption facility. But, now years later they said they think otherwise.

Ball credits her change of heart not just because of her son Wes, but also because she said she just doesn't want to see any more lives lost.

"If my son Wes, was still using now I would love the idea that he could walk into a place and be safe and not overdose and that there would be people there that cared about him," Ball said.

"As the mom of someone whose addicted. As a family member of someone who died as a result of drug addiction then I think they're so important and I think they can save lives," McNealy said.

McNealy, though, understands why people are concerned.

"I think that people are concerned that this kind of sidelines people from getting into recovery. Instead of wanting to get help maybe they're saying oh, well it's so easy to have a place to go and I don't have to fear that I'm going to die so, I can continue using drugs and I see that," McNealy said.

Debbie Goeller from The Worcester County Health Department said "  The establishment of Safe Consumption Facilities would require significant community support to establish and finance this type of facility. It is currently not included in our heroin/opioid community response plan."

The measure is currently being debated within Maryland's Health and Government Operations Committee.  

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