Mother of drug-addicted son slams Biden’s drug consumption centersAuthor: Yuvi January 27, 2023
The mother of a drug addict has slammed the Biden administration’s so-called safe injection sites and warned they are causing ‘more deaths’ across the US.
Jacqui Berlinn, the co-founder of the organization ‘Mothers Against Drugs Deaths’, said the government should spend money on addiction and recovery services for addicts instead of enabling them to take more drugs.
Berlinn said her son had been addicted to fentanyl for more 10 years and is living on the streets of San Francisco.
She appealed to the President as ‘someone who knows what it’s like to have a child that struggles with addiction’ – a reference to his son Hunter’s battle with alcoholism and drug abuse.
Berlinn said open-air substance centres in San Francisco – in which addicts can use heroin and other narcotics with protections against fatal overdoses – has meant her son is ‘in bondage’ because they ‘give him everything he needs to stay addicted.’
Jacqui Berlinn (right), the co-founder of the organization ‘Mothers Against Drugs Deaths’, said Biden should spend money on addiction and recovery services for drug addicts – rather than enable them to take more drugs by introducing open-air drug markets
Berlinn said that her son (pictured together), who has been a fentanyl addict for over 10 years and is living on the streets of San Francisco, is a ‘victim’ of the Biden administration funneling money into drug maintenance rather than recovery and treatment in the city
Critics have for years argued that safe injection sites encourage illegal drug use and burden neighborhoods.
‘My message to the Biden administration is to not allow safe injection or safe consumption sites in the United States and to spend more money or more resources on addiction and recovery services,’ Berlinn told Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
‘In the United States we are doubling down on addiction maintenance and we’re not putting our resources into recovery and treatment which is exactly what we need to be doing.’
Referring to Biden’s son’s struggle with drug addiction, Berlinn added: ‘I’m appealing to the President as someone who knows what it’s like to have a child that struggles with addiction to appeal to the Department of Justice and Attorney General Merrick to turn down these safe consumption sites and turn towards more recovery and treatment.’
Hunter Biden revealed in his memoir ‘Beautiful Things’ details of his lifelong struggle with alcoholism and drug abuse, writing that ‘in the last five years alone, my two-decades long has dissolved, guns have been put in my face, and at one point I dropped clean off the grid, living in $59-a-night Super 8 motels off I-95 while scaring my family even more than myself.’
Before and after photographs show the impact that drugs have had on Berlinn’s son’s appearance
Across the country, the opioid epidemic – which worsened since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States in early 2020 – has ravaged the lives of millions. Pictured: Drug addicts use drugs in Philadelphia
Berlinn said Biden’s policies have meant many of the cities across the US are ‘lacking services to help our homeless, our mentally ill drug addicted population’.
‘It’s very frustrating that they keep putting resources into drug maintenance and my son is a victim of this in San Francisco,’ she said.
‘And my greatest fear is that they will continue in the way they’ve been going and continue to enable my son.
‘He’s basically in bondage because they give him everything he needs to stay addicted.
‘But they don’t have the resources to help him get well and I don’t want to see this multiplied across the United States. And if we do, if our federal government decides to move forward with safe consumption sites, we are going to see more deaths.’
Berlinn and her group unveiled digital ads which read: ‘Please help my son escape addiction the way you helped Hunter’.
The group have in the past erected billboards warning people to stay away from San Francisco, which has been plagued by the ongoing drug crisis. The billboard reads: ‘Famous the world over for our brains, beauty and now, dirt-cheap fentanyl.’
The above map shows the percentage change in drug overdose deaths by state across the US. Each has seen a rise except for Hawaii. In Oklahoma deaths did not increase or decrease compared to previous years
The above graph shows the CDC estimates for the number of deaths triggered by drug overdoses every year across the United States. It reveals figures have now reached a record high, and are surging on the last three years
The message, splashed in front of an image of the Golden Gate Bridge, refers to the opiate that has flooded the city’s open air drug markets in recent years, leading to a staggering uptick in overdose deaths.
In August, California Gov Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have allowed certain cities to open supervised drug-injection sites.
The idea of the bill was to provide drug addicts with controlled substances in a supervised environment, where they would receive sterile needles and could be connected with a rehabilitation center.
The hope was to stem the rising tide of fatal overdoses in the state. But in a veto letter, the governor wrote that he had concerns about the ‘unintended consequences’ of the bill.
In November, New York City opened its first open air drug sites, which are run by two existing Syringe Service Providers – organizations that offer a range of services including access and disposal of injection equipment.
Homeless tents are seen in Tenderloin District during heavy rain in San Francisco on January 11
Proponents say the sites provide clean, safe places that save lives and can help curb addiction.
‘This is a watershed milestone in the fight to end overdose deaths in New York,’ Melissa Moore, director of civil systems reform at Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), said in a statement.
‘If we want to save lives, reduce criminalization, and curb racial disparities, we need comprehensive, innovative, and forward-thinking approaches like Overdose Prevention Centers.’
But opponents of the sites say they threaten communities in which they are located by facilitating drug use.
Across the country, the opioid epidemic – which worsened since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States in early 2020 – has ravaged the lives of millions. More Americans than ever – more than 100,000 – died from overdoses over a recent 12-month period, federal data shows.
The supply of illicit drugs on the streets has become deadlier, mostly due to widespread availability of fentanyl, which is increasingly mixed with other drugs.