OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 19: Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf looks on during an assembly at Edna Brewer Middle School about the U.S. Constitution on January 19, 2018 in Oakland, California. Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf discussed the U.S. Constitution with middle sc

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Calls For Creation Of 'Overdose Prevention Sites' For Drug Users

Matt Bigler
May 19, 2019 - 3:49 pm

OAKLAND — Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf continues to push for a safe injection site in Oakland, which would be a first in California.  

The locations where drug users can legally use clean needles are commonly called "safe injection sites," but Mayor Libby Schaaf favors another name for the taboo facilities. 

"First of all, in Oakland, we call these overdose prevention sites," said Schaaf to KCBS Radio. "I think that is the more appropriate nomenclature." 

The concept will help prevent drug users from overdosing and dying, Schaaf said, and does not encourage substance abuse. 

"This is about actually helping people who are suffering from drug addiction to get help and to actually get healed," said Schaaf. "It's also about saving families from the horrific pain of losing a loved one, and people should get behind that."

These centers have been shown to save lives and get dirty needles off the streets in Canada, Schaaf said. 

A bill in the state legislature would allow San Francisco to set up overdose prevention centers, and the Oakland city council may ask to be included in that legislation. 

A similar bill was vetoed by former Gov. Jerry Brown last year but Schaaf expects that Gov. Gavin Newsom would sign the bill if it reaches his desk this year.