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US Fatal Overdoses Top 100,000 Annually While NY Injection Sites See Zero Deaths

(TRUTHOUT) Travis Lupick, February 23, 2022

Jess Tilley works on the front lines of the U.S.’s overdose crisis. She runs a mobile syringe exchange in Northampton, Massachusetts, delivering clean needles to intravenous drug users. It’s a job that routinely brings her into situations of life or death. Tilley has responded to many overdoses over the years, and while she has never failed to resuscitate someone, every such encounter is intensely stressful. The work takes a mental toll.

It also frustrates her. “There is a better way to do this,” she says. “We know what would lower the number of overdose deaths: We want supervised injection.”

Finally, the country has begun a conversation about harm reduction interventions, including supervised injection facilities (also known as overdose prevention sites) where people can use drugs in the presence of medical professionals. The debate has come thanks to decades of advocacy by activists — many of them drug users — and has been tragically forced on the nation by an incredible number of overdose deaths.

Source: Truthout