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 deadly overdoses. The city is calling the privately run facilities “overdose prevention centers,” but they’re 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.
Photo: In this June 19, 2018, photo, a safe needle disposal container hangs in the bathroom of VOCAL-NY headquarters in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The first officially authorized safe havens for people to use heroin and other narcotics have been cleared to open in New York City in hopes of curbing overdoses, the mayor and health commissioner said Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)