Local Musicians Join Effort to Create Safe Consumption Space in Seattle

SEATTLE, WA – Seattle-area musicians Jenn Champion, John Roderick, and SassyBlack, and CEO of Sub Pop Megan Jasper today launched a major media campaign in support of the Yes to SCS effort in King County. In partnership with the Public Defender Association, this effort seeks to highlight the lifesaving benefit of building a safe consumption space (SCS) in the City of Seattle.

Overdose rates are now at record levels, killing more than 300 King County residents each year and taking a significant toll on the cultural life of Seattle. SCSs are a proven and positive solution that reduce deaths and medical issues, restore public safety and community spaces, and connect drug users with resources for treatment. The Seattle City Council included $1.3 million in funding for the creation of an area SCS in the 2018 budget, and is currently working with King County to identify possible locations.

Advertisements to raise the public’s awareness of this opportunity will launch today across print, broadcast and online news outlets including The Stranger, Crosscut, KCTS9, and Real Change, as well as on social media networks.

Jenn Champion said, “As a teenager, I was an IV drug user. Lack of means meant lack of access to clean needles and safe injection sites. When I look back on the many precarious and dangerous choices I made, when I felt like I had no choices, I am amazed at my luck. Not everyone is that lucky. Yearly, more people under 50 are dying as a result of the current opioid crisis than from guns, or car accidents. We must recognize the need to address this crisis from every angle and access to sterile and safe sites to consume drugs will save lives. I can tell you this: you are much more likely to get treatment if you don’t feel like you have to hide from the world.”

John Roderick of The Long Winters said, “We’ve all lost too many friends and fellow artists to overdose. Wonderful people, who meant a lot to me and to the cultural life of this city, gone too soon. Every single person I’ve known who’s died from overdose was isolated and alone when it happened. Whatever your theory of addiction recovery is, whether it’s tough love or religion or whatever, if someone dies alone in a parked car, or huddled under a freeway bridge – it’s too late. SCSs in Seattle will save lives. They’ll save the city millions of dollars in revolving door emergency service calls. They are judgment-free, humane, sensible and hygienic and will play a big part in finding a long-term solution to this epidemic. Seattle is where it should begin in King County.”

SassyBlack said, “The war on drugs has always has been a war on people – particularly poor people and people of color. Criminalizing drug use is the driving force of mass incarceration and the most expensive and least e­ffective way to address what is fundamentally a public health problem. We have lost many great musicians to overdose. Countless other people have been lost to prisons, to stigma and shame. Let’s end the stigma and embrace compassionate care.”

Megan Jasper, CEO of Sub Pop said, “I believe that SCSs are a long overdue intervention to combat the overdose epidemic. This crisis has touched the lives of nearly everyone in our community. Opening these sites is a proven and compassionate solution that will reduce deaths and medical issues, restore public safety and community spaces, and connect people who use drugs with resources for treatment. More delays means more suff­ering and more lives cut short. The time for SCS is right now.”

SCSs have been saving lives around the world for over 30 years. There are now over 100 sites worldwide. There have been millions of injections at these sites and zero overdose deaths. Learn more at: www.yestoscs.org.

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