After a two-year battle, the Philadelphia nonprofit Safehouse says next week it will open the first space in the U.S. where people struggling with addiction can use opioids and other illegal drugs under the supervision of trained staff. The Wednesday announcement comes one day after a U.S. district judge issued a final ruling declaring the facility does not violate federal drug laws. This solidified an October decision, which was the first time a federal court has weighed in on the legality of a supervised injection facility, or what advocates call an overdose prevention site. Used in Canada and parts of Europe, a supervised injection site is a space in which drug users bring their own drugs and administer them while under the watch of medical staff armed with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone. Safehouse officials say the initiative is aimed at saving lives and providing a bridge to treatment amid a worsening opioid crisis.
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