The first government-approved supervised drug injection sites in the United States have opened in New York City this week, NPR reports.
People with substance use disorder will be able to inject heroin and other illicit substances at the sites under the supervision of medical professionals. They also will be offered access to addiction treatment and other healthcare.
“Overdose Prevention Centers are a safe and effective way to address the opioid crisis,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “I’m proud to show cities in this country that after decades of failure, a smarter approach is possible.”
The New York City Health Department conducted a feasibility study that found the program could save up to 130 lives a year, the article notes.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams has said he supports overdose prevention centers.