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Safe Injection Task Force would release findings in 90 days

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Downtown Streets Team member Moses Richards, left, holds a container as team leader Darcel Jackson disposes of a needle found on the corner of Larkin and Grove streets in San Francisco on March 17, 2016. (Ekevara Kitpowsong/ Special to S.F. Examiner)

San Francisco has started to take seriously what many health professionals say is best course to treat those who inject heroin: safe injection facilities, where drug users can under supervision inject drugs and receive counseling.

Board of Supervisors President London Breed introduced legislation Tuesday calling upon the Department of Public Health to establish a Safe Injection Services Task Force of up to 15 members, ranging from police to a representative of a drug user advocacy organization.

“We need to find ways to connect drug users with available resources like primary care physicians,” Breed said. “Safe injection could prevent overdoses and actually reduce drug use.” Co-sponsors of the proposal were supervisor Jeff Sheehy, Jane Kim and Hillary Ronen.

For Breed, the issue has a personal connection. “I know the pain of drug abuse all too well. I lost my sister to a drug overdose here in San Francisco. I know the impacts. I think, ‘What could we have done differently at that time that would have potentially saved her life?’”

The legislation calls for the task force to release recommendations within 90 days.

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