Safe injection sites in Bellevue? 'Not now, not ever'

BELLEVUE, Wash. — City leaders in Bellevue could take action Monday to make safe injection sites illegal in their city.

City staff will be presenting options to the city council at its meeting Monday after council members made it very clear last month they will not let King County open a safe injection site in Bellevue.

One Bellevue council member said at its last meeting, places for addicts to shoot up should not be allowed in the city, "not now, not ever, not in any zone of Bellevue."

In January, King County's Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force recommended two injection sites be opened, stating evidence that currently, more people in the county enter detox for heroin than they do alcohol.

The argument is that the sites would reduce drug-related deaths and risks of overdoses, as well as the spread of viral infections like HIV and Hepatitis C.

An injection site would also put addicts closer to people who could point them toward social services.

Bellevue leaders aren't the only ones with concerns.

A citizen action group looking to ban sites in all of King County has gathered enough signatures to put the issue up for vote, but that likely won't come until February.