Seattle has approved the nation’s first two safe-injection sites for people using heroin and other illegal drugs, The Washington Post reports. City officials said the sites are a drastic but necessary response to the opioid epidemic.
The injection sites offer clean needles, medical supervision and quick access to naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote. In Vancouver, British Columbia, a medically supervised drug injection facility, called InSite, serves about 800 people daily.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement, “My visit to Insite, Vancouver, Canada’s safe consumption site, made clear these sites save lives and that is our goal in Seattle/King County. Keeping people alive gives them the opportunity to get treatment and begin their path to recovery.”