Council passes six-month moratorium on safe injection sites

Proposal by County Councilman Nate Nehring passed unanimously.

EVERETT — The Snohomish County Council on Monday passed a six-month moratorium on locating any safe injection sites for drug users in unincorporated parts of the county.

The proposal by County Councilman Nate Nehring passed unanimously.

The council also referred the injection site issue to the planning commission for consideration and a recommendation, including the possibility of a permanent ban.

Nehring said he was grateful for support from his fellow council members.

“This is a move in the right direction in our fight against the heroin and opioid epidemic,” Nehring said.

Safe injection sites are locations where people would be supervised while using heroin.

Officials in Seattle and King County have been working to create safe injection sites, but other communities, including Bellevue, have moved to ban them. The King County-Seattle Board of Health voted unanimously in January to endorse the sites, which officials said would be the first of their kind in the nation. Safe injection sites were part of more than 30 recommendations by King County’s Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force.

No such proposals are under consideration in Snohomish County or Everett.

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