Safe Injection Facilities Save Lives

Give U.S. opioid users a place to shoot up under medical supervision, Scientific American argues

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In Europe, Canada and Australia, drug users can go to safe injection rooms and legally shoot up opioids under medical supervision. In the United States, they can't do that legally—but they should be able to, the editors of Scientific American argue. Such facilities could reduce the massive toll of opioid addiction in the country—U.S deaths from heroin have climbed five-fold since 2010, and more than 15,000 people in the country died of a heroin overdose in 2016. Safe injection sites could save some of those people by providing antidotes, by reducing needle sharing, and more. So far no U.S. city has opened such a site, in part out of fear of condoning illegal drug use—but the good news is that at least one city, Philadelphia, may soon take the plunge.

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