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NYC set to open two 'safe havens' for drug users, dubbed "overdose prevention centers"

Heroin and needle with spoon
Posted at 11:30 AM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 13:30:25-05

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City says the first officially authorized safe havens for people to use heroin and other narcotics have been cleared to open in the city in hopes of curbing overdoses.

The city is calling them “overdose prevention centers,” but such facilities are also known as supervised injection sites.

They have been discussed for years in New York and some other U.S. cities and already exist in Canada, Australia and Europe. Proponents say the facilities save lives.

Opponents say they essentially sanction people harming themselves.

Federal law bans operating a place for narcotics use. The city health commissioner says sites are opening Tuesday at existing syringe exchange programs.