Keeping Life Alive – 

March 4, 2020 – Approximately 24,500 people in San Francisco regularly use syringes to inject illegal drugs, according to the city’s health department. In the city, drug overdosing accounted for 259 deaths in 2018 and 182 deaths in just the first six months of 2019.

“What we are proposing is not a radical new idea,” Haney said. “One hundred overdose prevention sites operate in cities around the world. None has ever experienced an overdose death and thousands have gained access to services and therapy.” To examine the sites firsthand, the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit traveled to Canada in 2018 and gained access inside these rarely seen drug facilities, including North America’s first supervised injection site situated on the east side of Vancouver.

“For businesses and for residents who are under siege from this drug crisis, where everywhere you walk you see needles and people shooting up, this is one of the solutions to that,” Haney said. “It’s not the only solution, but it’s a key part of an overall strategy.”