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Behind supervised injection sites: A controversial solution to overdose deaths

A man utilizes the narcotic consumption booths at a safe injection site at OnPoint NYC on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 in New York, NY. In 2021, New York City opened two supervised drug injection sites in the Harlem and Washington Heights neighborhoods in an effort to address the increase in overdose deaths. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
A man utilizes the narcotic consumption booths at a safe injection site at OnPoint NYC on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 in New York, NY. In 2021, New York City opened two supervised drug injection sites in the Harlem and Washington Heights neighborhoods in an effort to address the increase in overdose deaths. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Drug overdose deaths are up by more than 40% over the past two years.

In an effort to reduce overdose deaths, more than a dozen countries around the world have opened supervised injection sites. Advocates say they more than work.

“Fears we had that this might draw drug dealing to a community, you know the research we have to date says that that turns out not to be the case,” Peter Davidson, associate professor in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego, says.

But there are only two sites in the U.S. — both in New York City.

“We have to do something better,” Ronda Goldfein, co-founder of Safehouse, says. “To lose more than 100,000 Americans in the last 12 months from overdoses, and not to say, What can we do better?”

Today, On Point: A controversial solution to overdose deaths.

Guests

Peter Davidson, associate professor in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego. Co-author of Evaluation of an Unsanctioned Safe Consumption Site in the United States.

Ronda Goldfein, co-founder of Safehouse, a non-profit focused on overdose prevention in Philadelphia. She’s also the executive director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania.

Also Featured

Syderia Asberry-Chresfield, co-founder of the Greater Harlem Coalition.

 John Lally, his son Tim died of a heroin overdose in 2016.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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