America’s Opioid Crisis: Adopting an Ecosystem Approach


On an industrial side street in Providence, Rhode Island, down by the train tracks, below the freeway, an effort is underway to pull lives back from the precipice of America’s opioid epidemic.

Early next year, if all goes according to plan, a safe space for people who use drugs will open there—a place where they can smoke or inject their drugs under the watchful eyes of overdose prevention specialists. Such supervised consumption sites have operated in other countries for years. But the site in Providence will be the first in the United States authorized by a state government.

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