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AMA votes include support for supervised injection sites

June 14, 2017
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Delegates at this week's annual meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) believe that the seriousness of the injection drug problem's threat to public health warrants innovative responses that include the development of supervised injection facilities (SIFs). The AMA voted to support the creation of pilot facilities where individuals could inject drugs under medical supervision.

“Pilot facilities will help inform U.S. policymakers on the feasibility, effectiveness and legal aspects of supervised injection facilities in reducing harms and health care costs associated with injection drug use,” AMA Board of Trustees chair Patrice A. Harris, MD, said in a news release.

The AMA this week also called attention to the proliferation of new synthetic drugs, as it voted to support a multidisciplinary effort to improve their identification and regulation. This effort would include improved early warning systems that would allow law enforcement and public health leaders to respond more quickly to new threats and trends in the synthetic market.

The AMA supports proposed federal legislation that would require the Attorney General to assign a Schedule I classification to around 250 synthetic substances that have been identified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) since 2012.