Philadelphia officials announced on Tuesday their support for supervised injection facilities, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The facilities are clinics where people may inject illicit drugs under the supervision of trained staff, who can help prevent overdoses and connect clients to other health care. There are no legally operating supervised injection facilities in the United States, although they have a history in Canada and Europe. Studies show they reduce overdoses in the immediate area and encourage clients to undergo addiction treatment and other care.
Philadelphia has the highest opioid-overdose death rate of any American city, with officials expecting the final tally for drug-overdose deaths in the city in 2017 to reach 1,200, the Inquirer reports.
The city itself does not plan to operate supervised injection facilities; instead, it wants to support other organizations in securing space and funding.