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.
As the heroin crisis continues to escalate in the United States, interest is growing in the experience of North America’s only facility allowed to prescribe diacetylmorphine hydrochloride, the active ingredient in heroin. The facility, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, has been successful in keeping participants out of jail and away from emergency rooms, The New York Times reports.
A group in Seattle says it wants to open a site where people can use drugs under medical supervision, according to The Seattle Times. Advocates say such sites can reduce overdose deaths, HIV and hepatitis C transmissions.
More needle exchange programs are needed for people who inject drugs in rural and suburban areas, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Addiction rates are rising in non-urban areas.