San Francisco addicts are being held ‘captive’ by syringe exchange programs, ex-drug user says

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Providing syringes and pipes to drug users for public health reasons keeps addicts “in a state of captivity,” an activist-turned-dealer told Fox News.

The city has established more than 20 harm reduction centers – sites that provide a variety of services including overdose prevention education, distribution of the overdose reversal drug naloxone and safe use drug supplies such as syringes, tins, and pipes. The aim is to reduce overdoses and the spread of disease, such as hepatitis.

“They should rethink their policies here because this harm reduction site, it just doesn’t work,” Ricci Wynne, a drug abstinence advocate and former drug dealer, told Fox News. Homeless people in San Francisco “don’t need more syringes, they don’t need crack pipes, they don’t need printing.”

Ricci Wynne, an ex-convict accused of trafficking cocaine, stands in front of one of San Francisco's harm reduction centers.

Ricci Wynne, an ex-convict accused of trafficking cocaine, stands in front of one of San Francisco’s harm reduction centers.
(Fox News Digital/Jon Michael Raasch)

“They need abstinence-based treatment, they need to get clean, they need help to get back on the road to recovery,” Wynne continued.

WATCH: SAN FRANCISCO ACTORS Explain How Harm Reduction Sites Feed Addiction

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The San Francisco Health Commission approved a resolution in September 2000 adopting a harm reduction policy for substance abuse in the city intended to reduce the physical, social, emotional and economic harm associated with drug use. , according to the city’s health department.

“Harm reduction methods are free of judgment and directly involve clients in setting their own health goals,” according to the department.

Drug dealers and drug users gather across the street from the San Francisco Federal Building.

Drug dealers and drug users gather across the street from the San Francisco Federal Building.
(Fox News Digital/Jon Michael Raasch)

WATCH: San Francisco activist exposes ‘hijacked’ bus stops as ‘OPEN DRUG MARKETS’

Wynne called the approach a “failed model” and compared harm reduction to putting a bucket under a leaky roof. He said it is a temporary solution that will not fix the root cause of addiction.

“It basically allows these slaves to continue to live in a state of captivity,” he said. “It’s an illegal situation where there is no consequence for what they did, and they still able to live this way.”

NYC is reporting drug overdose deaths, with the majority involving FENTANYL

There are tents along the San Francisco street sidewalk.

There are tents along the San Francisco street sidewalk.
(Fox News Digital/Jon Michael Raasch)

There were 556 accidental overdose deaths in San Francisco between January 2022 and November 2022, according to city data. More than 400 were from fentanyl.

Research is limited on how effective harm reduction services are in preventing overdoses, although the National Institutes of Health recently announced upcoming studies.

“Research is needed to identify ways to increase access to harm reduction services as well as measure their effectiveness,” the NIH website says.

One city-funded campaign in 2021 produced 50,000 doses of naloxone, resulting in about 4,300 overdoses, the New York Times reported.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed and the board of supervisors have expressed support for safe consumption sites — places where users can take drugs under supervision, the local Fox affiliate reported last month. The city has been exploring the idea for years.

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“I’m very much against these sites because you just have to ask yourself, what happens when the funding for these safe drinking sites runs out?” Wynne said. “What will happen is that these people are still being put out on the streets, but without any treatment and without any kind of recovery-based approach.”

“So basically they’re going to live in this vicious cycle of exploitation,” he continued.

To view Wynne’s full interview on harm reduction centers, click here.

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