Trying To Prevent Overdose Deaths: Philadelphia Is Gearing Up To Open First Safe Injection Sites In U.S.
Philadelphia has become the epicenter for overdose deaths as the epidemic shifts from rural areas to urban ones. City leaders hope to follow practices in other countries that allow tens of thousands of illicit drug users to consume heroin and other drugs in supervised facilities instead of in back alleys and parks. The Department of Justice says injection sites violate the law. News on the opioid epidemic is from Michigan, as well.
With Safe Injection Sites, ‘Somebody Has To Go First.’ It Could Be Philadelphia.
A preliminary decision by a federal judge last month could put Philadelphia on a path to becoming the first U.S. city to host a so-called safe injection facility, where users can come in off the street and consume their illicit drugs under the watchful eyes of medical professionals who will rescue them if they overdose. Politicians and harm-reduction advocates in Boston, Denver, New York, San Francisco and Seattle have tried to open similar facilities but have been stalled by red tape and state and local opposition, as well as federal lawsuit threats. (Vestal, 11/15)
Detroit Free Press:
Michigan Unveils New Programs To Reduce Opioid Deaths, Infections
The state of Michigan on Thursday announced it will begin providing medication-assisted treatment for prisoners with addiction and support more needle exchange programs in an effort to combat the nationwide opioid epidemic. “We are losing more than five people every single day to opioid overdoses,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a prepared statement, announcing the initiatives. “This epidemic touches all areas of our state and is one of the greatest health crises of our lifetimes. My No. 1 priority is protecting our families and our overall public health, and these efforts will help bring us closer to ending this epidemic.” (Kovanis, 11/14)