Roughly Speaking podcast: Offering a safe space for addicts to do drugs (episode 222)

Should local governments or nonprofits establish “safe places” for heroin addicts to shoot up? Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan calls it “absolutely insane” and “idiotic,” but for a man who just declared a state of emergency because of a deadly drug epidemic, maybe he ought to read Susan Sherman’s report and recommendations before dismissing the idea. Sherman, a professor and researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says “safe-drug consumption spaces have reduced overdose deaths, linked addicts with treatment services, reduced crime and saved money. Such places are now in operation in 66 cities in 11 countries. On today’s show, Sherman talks about how these “safe places” work and how they might come to Baltimore, where deaths from opioid overdoses have been on the rise. Officials say Maryland had 2,000 such overdose deaths in 2016, prompting Hogan’s Wednesday announcement.

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