In Boston, where pedestrians step over drug users who are nodding off on a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue known as Methadone Mile, an organization for the homeless has planned what it calls a safe space, where users could ride out their high under supervision; it would not allow actual injection on site.
In Philadelphia last spring, a man riding a city bus at rush hour injected heroin into his hand, in full view of other passengers, including one who captured the scene on video.
In Cincinnati, a woman died in January after she and her husband overdosed in their baby’s room at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The husband was found unconscious with a gun in his pocket, a syringe in his arm and needles strewn around the sink.
Here in Cambridge a few years ago, after several people overdosed in the bathrooms of a historic church, church officials reluctantly closed the bathrooms to the public.
“We weren’t medically equipped or educated to handle overdoses, and we were desperately afraid we were going to have something happen that was way out of our reach,” said the Rev. Joseph O. Robinson, rector of the church, Christ Church Cambridge.