Crisis Mode

Listen 49:19
Photo: Elana Gordon/WHYY

Photo: Elana Gordon/WHYY

As drug overdose deaths continue to soar, cities hit hard by the opioid crisis are considering a controversial new proposal: safe injection sites. That’s where people can bring their illicit drugs — and inject them — under medical supervision. Supporters say this harm-reduction approach saves lives.

For more than a decade, Vancouver has been experimenting with safe injection sites. On this episode, we travel there to talk with users, staff, advocates, and neighbors, and see what lessons the city has for communities hoping to curb drug deaths.

Also heard this week:

  • WBEZ’s Lakeidra Chavis visits Chicago neighborhoods where African Americans say they’ve been largely excluded from conversations about opioid addiction and treatment — even though the crisis is affecting them in high numbers.
  • Psychiatrist Lloyd Sederer talks about the roots of addiction and his new book “The Addiction Solution.”

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