Justice Department Promises Crackdown on Supervised Injection Sites

August 31, 2018 AT 10:15 AM

By Bobby Allyn

A top Justice Department official is putting cities considering medically-supervised drug injection sites on notice: If you open one, prepare for swift and aggressive legal action.

With record numbers of fatal overdoses, several cities are working on plans to launch facilities where people can inject illegal drugs with staff on hand to help them if they overdose. Now, however, the Trump administration is vowing a major crackdown.

In an interview with NPR, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he understands city leaders are desperate to curb the mounting overdose deaths, but there is one problem: providing a place for people to use heroin and other illegal substances is a violation of federal law.

"I'm not aware of any valid basis for the argument that you can engage in criminal activity as long as you do it in the presence of someone with a medical condition," Rosenstein says.

City officials in Philadelphia and San Francisco say they are moving forward with their plans, despite the threats.

View Full Story From NPR/WHYY