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A team of volunteers with an Ohio-based nonprofit handed out 2,500 doses of a nasal spray version of naloxone, an overdose reversal drug, at this year's Bonnaroo music festival. Amy Harris/Invision via AP hide caption

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Amy Harris/Invision via AP

Louise Vincent, executive director of the North Carolina Survivors Union, holds a vial of the overdose reversal drug naloxone. "Almost everyone that comes here is alive because of naloxone," Vincent says. Aneri Pattani/KHN hide caption

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Aneri Pattani/KHN

Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra said the overdose epidemic has grown so severe that new measures are needed to keep people with addiction alive. He is seen here on Capitol Hill in September. Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images

Overdose deaths are so high that the Biden team is embracing ideas once seen as taboo

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Huntington was once ground-zero for this opioid epidemic. Several years ago, they formed a team that within days visits everyone who overdoses to try to pull them back from the brink. The county's overdose rate plummeted. They wrestled down an HIV cluster. They finally felt hope. Then the pandemic arrived and it undid much of their effort: overdoses shot up again, so did HIV diagnoses. David Goldman/AP hide caption

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David Goldman/AP

Overdose Deaths Rose During The War On Drugs, But Efforts To Reduce Them Face Backlash

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Nikil Saval, a newly elected Pennsylvania state senator, speaks in support of opening a "supervised injection site" for opioid users in Philadelphia during a Nov. 16 rally outside the federal courthouse. Kimberly Paynter/WHYY hide caption

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Kimberly Paynter/WHYY

Supplies sit on a check-in desk at a model of a hypothetical injection site in San Francisco, pictured here in September 2018. Local leaders from San Francisco are among a dozen local officials urging a federal court to allow an effort to open a supervised injection site in Philadelphia. Eric Risberg/AP hide caption

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Eric Risberg/AP

Safehouse is considering locating in this block of Hilton Street in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. The proposed facility would allow drug users to inject under medical supervision. The neighborhood is known for its drug use. Natalie Piserchio for NPR hide caption

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Natalie Piserchio for NPR

Supporters Sue To Open Safe Injection Site In Philadelphia, Citing Religious Freedom

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In several European countries and Canada, patients with longterm opioid addiction are prescribed pharmaceutical grade heroin which they inject in clinics like the Patrida Medical Clinic in Berlin. Some addiction specialists want to pilot similar programs in the U.S. picture alliance/picture alliance via Getty Image hide caption

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picture alliance/picture alliance via Getty Image

Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania, has taken a strong stand on supervised injection sites. Andrew Harrer/Getty Images hide caption

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Andrew Harrer/Getty Images

Supervised injection sites, like Insite in Vancouver, Canada, provide drug users with clean needles and other supplies to help prevent the spread of disease. Elana Gordon for WHYY hide caption

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Elana Gordon for WHYY

A drug user prepares a hit of heroin inside VANDU's supervised injection room. Rafal Gerszak for NPR hide caption

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Rafal Gerszak for NPR

Watchful Eyes: At Peer-Run Injection Sites, Drug Users Help Each Other Stay Safe

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At safe injection sites like Insite, in Vancouver, Canada, drug users can inject drugs under the watch of trained medical staff who will help in case of overdose. Elana Gordon/WHYY hide caption

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Elana Gordon/WHYY

Cities Planning Supervised Drug Injection Sites Fear Justice Department Reaction

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Proponents of medically supervised, indoor sites for opioid injection say such places would be much safer than tent encampments like this one — and could help people addicted to opioids transition into treatment and away from drug use. Natalie Piserchio for WHYY hide caption

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Natalie Piserchio for WHYY

Desperate Cities Consider 'Safe Injection' Sites For Opioid Users

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