The nation’s first supervised safe injection site is set to open in Philadelphia next week following a judge’s ruling that the facility does not violate federal law. The ruling from federal Judge Gerald A. McHugh of the United States District Court finalizes a ruling he made last year in favor of the nonprofit organization Safehouse, which plans to operate the site in South Philadelphia.
Attorney Ronda Goldfein, a Safehouse board member, said that supervised injection sites are needed in Philadelphia to help address the continuing opioid crisis.
“We have the highest death rate of any big city in America, three times that of Chicago, which is number two and five times that of New York, which is number three, and our numbers continue to rise,” Goldfein said. “The 2019 death rate is expected to pass the death rate of 2018. Three to four people die of overdose every day in Philadelphia and with numbers like these, we are compelled to act.”
Safehouse’s supervised injection site is supported by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who is also a member of the organization’s board. But many residents and city leaders are opposed