Whenever I have trash duty at work, I wonder if this is the day. The day I am exposed to HIV, Hepatitis B or C, or other diseases due to an accidental needle stick from needles being disposed of in the bathroom trash can. Many attempts have been made to mitigate this risk at the local coffeeshop for which I sling espresso shots and toss trash bags into the dumpster out back, including double bagging and changing the color of trash bags to be used in the bathrooms to increase a heightened awareness among my fellow baristas. But these tweaks are just drops in the bucket that is drug use and the public health implications it has for the city of Olympia.
Want a way to help ease the mind of the person who has the power to decaffeinate your drink? Show your support for the measures being taken to open safe injection sites in King County. Building these sites allows intravenous drug users a space to use as safely as possible with a mitigated risk of death by overdose due to on-site medical personnel. Would you rather have your untrained local barista handling an overdose in the coffeeshop bathroom? Or a registered nurse equipped with Narcan to reverse the effects? We as citizens have a say in this. Now more than ever, with other counties and municipalities attempting to pass ordinances banning safe injection sites, we must take a stand in being a part of a public health solution.