ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Project Safe Point in Albany provides treatment for anyone whether or not they desire to stop using. It’s also a safe injection site. These protocols may sound controversial but for one man it was a lifesaver.
“Once you go through addiction and you get to your rock bottom, the only place left to go is up” says Albany County native Kevin.
We spoke to Kevin on International Overdose Awareness Day. As of this article, he’s eight months clean. The man in recovery says family issues and hanging out with the wrong crowd led him down the rough and tumble road of addiction. An internal war he’s been battling since the tender age of 10. Eventually Kevin had enough.
“I got to the point though in my own self where I didn’t want to drink honestly. I didn’t like the way it made me feel. I didn’t like how I acted around people. I didn’t like how people acted around me” the Safe Point patient said.
So, Kevin made a change. After numerous stays at various treatment facilities, where he says he had bad experiences, Project Safe Point was just what he needed.
“Having an establishment like this that gives you education, knowledge, support ” said Kevin. “Man they have everything you need…” he added.
The Albany County native is conscious that everyone isn’t able to find a space like this.
“Some people don’t know where to go get help. Some people don’t know what to do. Some people don’t know how to get away from that scene” Kevin told us.
The facility provides services like Narcan, Xylazine and Fentanyl test strips. They even offer housing and food pantry services. Candace Ellis, the Executive Director of aides services at Catholic Charities, which runs the program says, Safe Point’s model of helping people whether or not they want to stop using, needs to be followed.
“As we’ve seen with COVID, a lot of the other complicating factors, we need to have all hands on deck…all services, all hands on deck available and meet people where they are” said Ellis.
I asked Kevin, a survivor, what he thought about the garden signifying those who never got to make it up from rock bottom.
“There’s a lotta young kids that are just passing away dropping like flies, but then there’s sometimes where I’m like, you know, I go out there. I see it and it’s beautiful” and ” Kevin said.
“You know, I feel like they’re in a better place” he added.