In a Safe Space, Medical Professionals Monitor What's Really Happening During a Drug High



They arrive on their own, worried about what was really in that bag of heroin. Some are carried in, slumped between two friends. Others are lifted off the sidewalk or asphalt of a nearby alley and rolled in a wheelchair to what's known as SPOT, or the Supportive Place for Observation and Treatment, at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP).

Nine reclining chairs have been full most days, especially during peak mid-day hours. It may be the only room in the country when patients can ride out a heroin or other high under medical supervision.

"It’s a safe place to be," says Tommy, 39, who's been using heroin for at least 21 years. "It’s a lot safer than being out on the street, possibly walking into traffic. I might OD if I was alone out there."


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