Panel Discussion Weighs Potential of Safe Injection Sites

The public discussed the possibility of safe injection sites Thursday at a meeting in Boston's Charlestown neighborhood.

The room was packed at the Massachusetts General Hospital Charlestown Health Center for a panel to discuss facilities where users can inject drugs under medical supervision.

"I wish my son had a place to go," said Mike Cain, a street recovery coach and one of the many gathered.

His son, Michael, died from a drug overdose back in 2015.

"He's not with us today as a result of it," he said. "At the end of the day, as generic as this sounds, it's about saving lives."

"There were many times I got high and I was alone and I've overdosed," said Shannon Lundin, a Charlestown resident and a program manager at MGH's Addiction and Recovery Services. "Luckily, people came and found me at one point, but I could be dead."

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he's now in favor of the sites, but U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling and Gov. Charlie Baker are still against it, as it's still illegal under federal law.

But for Lundin, who's now been in recovery for 15 years, the sites are about saving lives.

A mock safe injection site will be open to at MGH Charlestown, located at 73 High St. in Boston, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 18.

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