The Boston Globe story on a legal "safe" injection site for drug users in Vancouver, British Columbia is a real eye-opener.

There is a serious drug crisis in Massachusetts and in all the other states that make up our republic. People are dying and leaving behind loved ones who wonder if they could have done more to save them. One of the ideas to save addicts from a fatal overdose is to set up a place that allows them to inject narcotics in the presence of medical professionals. If the addict overdoses, there will be someone on hand to save them immediately.

Recently, a Massachusetts state study made the case for using these types of "safe" injection sites as a way to reduce fatal overdoses in the state. The movement to open these sites is gaining momentum and local officials need to pay attention, particularly local officials in cities like New Bedford and Fall River.

The Boston Globe sent a reporter, Felice J. Freyer, to Vancouver to get a first-hand look at how one particular operates. Insite is the "first program in North America to allow people to inject illegal drugs."

The reporter paints a picture of a living hell hole. Insite is located in a neighborhood that is home to 8,000 to 10,000 active drug addicts. The neighborhood is "an open-air drug market and homeless encampment known as Downtown Eastside."

The staff at Insite is preventing overdoses and saving lives. But at what cost?

Downtown Eastside is what happens when society throws up its hands and creates a place for drug dealers and addicts to thrive without law and order.

If Massachusetts adopts a similar approach, they won't do it in wealthy neighborhoods. The state will select cities like New Bedford, Fall River, Brockton, etc. to become American versions of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

It is up to local leaders in the poorer cities of Massachusetts to stand up to this latest idea at managing the problem with drug addiction before it is too late.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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