Several Democratic lawmakers at the state Capitol used International Overdose Awareness Day Thursday to tout a bill allowing eight counties to open drug injection sites. Democratic Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman is the bill's author. She's says the sites, which would be staffed by a health care worker, have proven successful.
"These sites, as we've found out around the world, increase the amount of people who get into treatment. They increase the amount of people who stay clean," says Eggman. "They decrease the amount of people who are contracting and passing on HIV, hepatitis and those kind of things."
Eggman also says overdoses now surpass vehicle crashes as the number one cause of accidental deaths in the US. She says treating addiction as a criminal issue has failed and that it's time to treat it as a public health issue.
Law enforcement argue the centers would attract crime, conflict with federal law and normalize hard drugs rather than helping addicts kick their habit. Eggman's bill has been approved by the Assembly and is now in the state Senate.