Reed, Mitrano Spar Over Open Heroin Injection Sites

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Tom Reed, again called challenger Tracy Mitrano’s (D) idea of utilizing open heroin injection sites an “extreme liberal position” during a conference call Tuesday morning with regional reporters. 
“I think embracing that extreme liberal position of open heroin injection sites is absolutely wrong for our future,” Reed said. “Having them in our communities as a solution to the heroin problem, as (Mitrano) has said repeatedly over this campaign, to me, shows the contrast because her extreme liberal position, versus ours, which are practical, on-the-ground, hard-worked based, evidence-based, solutions to this terrible epidemic that is occurring in front of us.”
Reed said that various police chiefs and district attorneys throughout the district are opposed to the open injection sites.
Mitrano, during a teleconference of her own Tuesday, said that the sites should be legalized for communities who want to use them to control drug trafficking.
“We make them legal for the communities that want to use them as the vehicle to try to control drug trafficking in their area, and to get addicts into treatment,” Mitrano said. “We consider where there is a community that can manage these sites as a way to stem the tide of the illegal drug trade, because it’d be under the watch of law enforcement, and use it as a bridge to get people into treatment.”
“We should consider whether those communities that want to take this option to stem the illegal drug trade, and to try to get addicts into treatment, and not spread communicable disease, have the option to do it. That’s my position.”
Reed was asked to detail how the federal government has allocated resources towards the opioid crisis. Reed said that the last budget included billions of dollars towards resources to combat the opioid crisis.
“We have allocated, in the last budget, $4.7 billion dollars for additional resources to go towards fighting this issue so, loud and clear, we have action on the books to make sure we are addressing this crisis,” Reed said. “Two hundred thousand dollars, last week, in Chautauqua County, was awarded to a coordinator position that will assist in the local level.”
“The money is already starting to come through, and rightfully so, as well as the additional resources and authority and flexibility to deal with this on all fronts, to attack this epidemic the right way, not to an extreme way of open heroin injection sites in our community.”