On ‘Radio Times’: The debate on safe injection sites reaches Philadelphia

    Before this heroin camp in Kensington was torn down, users congregated to shoot up. City officials have been talking about establishing a

    Before this heroin camp in Kensington was torn down, users congregated to shoot up. City officials have been talking about establishing a "safe-injection" site to cut down on opioid fatalities in the city where 1,200 people died of overdoses last year. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    Mayor Jim Kenney started a task force to combat the opioid epidemic in response to over 900 people who died of overdoses in Philadelphia last year.

    Philadelphia and cities around the country are debating a controversial idea to reduce overdose fatalities by creating safe-injection sites — places where people can inject illegal drugs under supervision.

    Tuesday on “Radio Times,” Mary Cummings Jordan spoke with Liz Evans, founder of InSite in Vancouver — the first supervised-injection site in North America — about this alternative method. Later in the show, Priya Mammen, professor of emergency medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and Devin Reaves, a recovery advocate and social worker — both members of Kenney’s task force — joined the discussion.

    “The truth is people are out there using drugs, and if we can’t access them, we can’t help them,” Reaves said.

    Listen to the entire conversation.

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