January 29, 2022

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NYC Opens Nation’s First Safe Drug Injection Sites; 15 Lives Saved in First Week of Operation

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At least fifteen lives have been saved, so far, after the nation’s first supervised illegal drug injection sites opened in New York City about a week ago. The facilities provide clean needles and the opioid reversal medication Naloxone, as well as medical care and drug dependency treatment options. This comes as U.S. overdose deaths topped 100,000 during the first year of the pandemic. While the New York facilities are the first to be government-approved, advocates have long fought for better and safer resources for people with addiction, and there are now over 120 drug injection sites operating worldwide. We speak with Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, who says safe drug prevention sites are effective tools to keep people who use drugs alive, especially in Black and Latino communities that face the added threat of mass incarceration from decades of discriminatory policies.

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