BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A traveling exhibit modeling a pop-up “safer consumption space” was set up in Lafayette Square Wednesday afternoon.
Buffalo is one of ten cities on the traveling exhibit’s tour. which will include other cities which have been hard-hit by the opioid crisis including Rochester, Syracuse, Ithaca, and Albany. The model is a collaboration by the Drug Policy Alliance, VOCAL-NY, and The Katal Center.
Safe Shape’s website bills the traveling exhibit as a pavilion which operates as a mock drug consumption room.
Drug-related deaths have increased 256 percent in Erie County from 2010 to 2015. Statewide, deaths from drug overdoses and chronic drug abuse increased 71 percent between 2010 and 2015. From January to June 2016, there were more than 155 fatal overdoses in Erie County.
The “Safe Shape” demonstration depicts a safer consumption space/supervised injection facility where people can legally consume previously-purchased drugs with supervision from peers and professionals to make their use safer.
Advocates have been calling for the creation of supervised injection facilities across the state as a harm reduction tool.
The demonstration was followed by a screening of “Everywhere but Safe”, a documentary about public injection in New York State.