Dear Billy T and Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line,
“As a long time resident of Somerville, I am adamantly opposed to safe injection sites promoted by members of the city council members and mayor. As a teenager, I personally experienced drug dealing at SHS. I was fortunate enough to get on a work study program and work in Boston half time so I could escape that environment.
I knew former classmates who spent a short life hooked on drugs which ended their life. I was fortunate that I had a family that cared enough to keep me safe. But for those of us fortunate ones, we saw our classmates lose their lives at a young age and never beat the battle of addiction.
I believe instead we should dedicate a substantial amount of tax funding for professional drug rehabilitation sites operated by leaders of the medical industry who are experts in saving lives from this epidemic.
We also need more police presence in our city especially at night and hire more officers— not Defund the Police which is absolutely unacceptable.
It is my opinion that installing safe injection sites will create more drug addiction not less.
Somerville Hospital would be an ideal location for a drug rehab. Instead of being focused on building more luxury condos, we as a caring community should fight the battle of drug addiction by creating a safe place for those suffering from addiction to fully recover and also include police presence at rehabs as well.
I attended meetings with councilors Clingan and McLaughlin when 14-16 year olds died of overdoses laced with fentanyl. It was the worst experience for me as someone who knew about the drug problems in our city since a young teen and as a parent who’s children also lost friends and attended funerals over the years.
We as a community have a right to gather at city hall to discuss this proposal. Businesses, landlords, home owners and our next generation of children will be effected by the councils short sighted and irresponsible decisions pertaining to how to best save lives. This issue effects all of us. Please consider this carefully because this issue is a very important one that could make a difference in how we help save lives. Drug and alcohol addiction is call complicated. Treatment programs for recovery must include stabilization of the individual effect. They need more than a dose. They need to rebuild their lives and that includes building self esteem and jobs training, volunteering and teaching them a healthy way of life.
Life long resident