A growing number of elected leaders and drug policy experts are weighing an idea long considered radical in the U.S.: letting users shoot up under medical supervision.
Known as supervised injection centers, the facilities have operated for years in Vancouver, British Columbia; Amsterdam; Sydney, Australia, and other cities.
Inside, users inject themselves under the care of doctors or nurses who intervene if they overdose. Many of the facilities also offer treatment services if users decide they want to get clean.
Leaders at the state level in New York, California and Maryland and on a local level in Seattle, San Francisco and Ithaca, New York, have proposed allowing injection centers, but the idea faces significant legal and political challenges.
Nevertheless, New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal says injection sites deserve consideration as an innovative approach to a complicated public health problem. Dr. Dan Morhaim, a delegate in the 11th District which covers part of Baltimore County, is part of the campaign.
ABC2 News contributed to this report.