SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Opioid overdoses continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in Illinois, so some lawmakers now want to allow safe spaces to do drugs.

They hope that it will cut down on the number of overdose deaths.

The facilities would be supervised by medical professionals while using. That way there is help if someone does overdose.

More than 3,000 people died of opioid overdoses in 2021 in Illinois. The state was on track for a 3% increase in that number through the first half of 2022.

While some lawmakers believe that this safe space will help prevent those deaths, one Central Illinois police chief believes that the state needs to focus more on treatment.

“You’re just putting a Band-Aid on it by doing this,” said Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler. “You want to get the people better. They’re addicts, they’re human beings, you know, they have a disease, where treatment does help.”

“Why would we turn our backs on people struggling with a substance use disorder, saying, ‘No, we don’t want to space for you,'” countered Representative La Shawn Ford. “‘We would rather see you die on the streets.'”

New York City, Los Angeles and the State of Rhode Island allow for safe drug use spaces, but they are not wide spread even though they are legalized.

This is currently just a bill. It has not seen any votes, but others have signed on as co-sponsors.