Tompkins County
New York

Report or Discussion Item

Supervised Injection Facilities (SIF) Presentation


Department:Health and Human Services CommitteeSponsors:
Category:Public HealthFunctions:Health Related, Public Safety

Meeting History

Oct 16, 2017 3:30 PM  Health and Human Services Committee Regular Meeting

Dr. Klepack provided a PowerPoint presentation entitled Supervised Injection Facilities, A Clinical Review by Dr. William Klepack, Medical Director, Tompkins County Health Department, September 2017. Dr. Klepack stated this was a clinical review and includes the research and findings he personally has conducted and is not in any way endorsed by the Tompkins County Health Department or Tompkins County.

Ms. Kelles invited Gwen Wilkinson, Ithaca Plan Drug Policy Coordinator and former Tompkins County District Attorney, to participate in the discussion following Dr. Klepack's presentation.

Ms. Kelles inquired about the recommendation from the New York Academy of Physicians for pilot Supervised Injection Facility (SIF) programs and if there has been any response from the State. Dr. Klepack stated there has not been a response.

Ms. Kelles asked where the Bill introduced to the NYS Assembly stands. Dr. Klepack said it is in Committee at this time and there has not been a companion Bill introduced in the NYS Senate yet.

Ms. Chock inquired about the role Dr. Klepack views law enforcement playing in this program. Dr. Klepack stated it would be similar to what was done when the needle exchange program was first introduced. He said if the medical model is introduced to law enforcement as a manner in which they can help people they will cooperate.

Mrs. McBean-Clairborne stated people will be injecting pre-obtained substances that could be "bad or laced" there is a potential for overdose and death and asked how can that be prevented and how can the black market for illegal substance be reduced. Dr. Klepack stated the individual would be in a place where medical attention was available if they used a bad product and they could be helped. He also said anyone who overdoses and is treated with Narcan needs further medical treatment.

Ms. Wilkinson spoke of the SIF's being a radical proposal but must be established in conjunction with a detox facility, 24-hour crisis center, the wide spread distribution of Narcan with increased training in the administration of it, medication assisted therapy, and the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program. Ms. Wilkinson stated the ultimate goal is to upset the black market that is supplying the substances.

Ms. Wilkinson provided some historical information regarding addiction in the early 1900’s that affected mostly the white middle-class affected by bronchitis and tuberculosis. She explained that the addiction was treated as a disease by medical professionals.

Ms. Kelles said this program is not the answer to everything but will assist in reducing the number of deaths.

Mr. Burbank asked what can be done by the Legislature to move this forward. Ms. Wilkinson explained the need to educate people in the community and to have additional pieces in place including exploring how to obtain waivers.

Ms. Kelles stated this presentation has been recorded and available to share the information and will be on list serves and the Legislature website and will make the announcement at the next meeting as to where the recording can be found.