Making a Place Called Safe

“A Public Health Case for a Safer Injection Facility in San Francisco, CA”

This is a film that highlights an issue that most of us would rather not think about: the day-to-day lives and the moment-to-moment needs of intravenous drug users. In the film, we learn that drug users are people too, with their own set of special needs. The chief of these needs is a safe place to shoot up, without having to worry about unsafe conditions.

It tugged at my heart that many of the IVDUs (Intra-Venous Drug Users) who were interviewed voiced concern about shooting up in places where they might be seen by children, families, pregnant women….it affected me in two ways: first, that the IVDUs were really concerned that they might cause trauma or other harm to these groups that they identified as vulnerable. Second, it is clear that they feel that they are a potential source of contamination, just by seeing them, and that makes them a lesser person. They feel like lesser people who don’t want to contaminate the “professional people,” as one man said, simply by being who they are: junkies, crackheads, meth freaks…..PEOPLE. So there is a grass roots movement run by former and present drug users to create safe space for IVDUs to use their own drugs without haste, using clean equipment, in a respectful, nonjudgemental atmosphere. I’m for it. As one man in the film said, drug use is not going to go away. The “War on Drugs” has been a dismal failure. I am SO on board with this. If my life circumstances allowed it. I would be right there, right now.

Leave a comment


  1. Rose

     /  October 27, 2013

    I love this concept. Just like battling the stigma of mental illness, these IV drug users do the same every day. While I can’t say that I support IV drug use, I recognize it as addiction, which is a form of mental illness. Good for you for bringing this to everyone’s attention!



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