Philadelphia approves ‘supervised injection’ of heroin, other drugs amid opioid epidemic

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Officials in Philadelphia are moving to open safe-injection sites for drugs like fentanyl and heroin as the opioid crisis persists. But the state attorney general insists there’s “no safe way to inject” the highly addictive drugs.
Officials in Philadelphia announced on Tuesday that they would encourage the creation of addiction engagement sites that would oversee medically-supervised consumption of drugs, WCAU reports.
Such a center is called a safe-injection site, and they are staffed with medical professionals who can immediately respond in the event of an overdose. The sites also provide critical access to clean medical supplies, such as needles, along with addiction rehabilitation services, according to WCAU.
City officials have yet to announce a framework for overseeing the program, potential locations, or a timeline for when sites could open.
According to a scientific review of safe injection sites released by city officials, the sites could save between 24 and 76 lives each year, while also preventing as many as 18 cases of HIV and 213 cases of hepatitis C. Philadelphia saw more than 1,200 overdose deaths in 2017, and is now in the midst of its deadliest public health crisis in modern history, the Philly Voice reports.
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