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How Safe Injection Sites Can Help Address Our Addiction Crisis

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Geoffrey Bordas, 37, of Ontario, a fentanyl addict who also works at the Overdose Prevention Society (OPS), prepares an injection of fentanyl to be given to himself at OPS in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighborhood on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Geoffrey Bordas, 37, of Ontario, a fentanyl addict who also works at the Overdose Prevention Society (OPS), prepares an injection of fentanyl to be given to himself at OPS in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighborhood on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have allowed a trial run of safe injection sites in San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles. These sites, where people can use illicit drugs under supervision, would have been the first legal ones in the state.

But the idea isn’t new. Safe injection sites have been used as a harm reduction tool for decades in Canada, Australia, and in parts of Europe. They exist in other parts of the United States — two have opened in New York City, and Rhode Island has approved them statewide. So, why don’t we have them in California yet?

Guest: Lesley McClurg, KQED health correspondent

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