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State Senate approves supervised injection site proposal

June 7, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Senate is backing legislation to authorize a pilot program to attempt to establish supervised injection sites for drug users.

The Senate approved the bill Thursday, referring it to the House.

Democratic Sen. Joshua Miller, of Cranston, says health care professionals at the sites could help if there’s an overdose and make treatment referrals.

Advocates in Massachusetts tried to persuade Republican Gov. Charlie Baker to allow these sites. Baker said in February he wants to focus on legal actions to curb overdose deaths.

Baker pointed to comments by Massachusetts’ U.S. attorney, warning that drug users and employees at the sites would be exposed to federal criminal charges.

Miller says Rhode Island would have to either navigate those legal challenges or perhaps establish something short of a traditional safe injection facility.

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