May 2016 – The Boston Globe reported on a new unorthodox measure that has been taken by Boston Healthcare to prevent overdose deaths. Fatigued and frustrated by multiple overdose occurrences in their waiting rooms each week, Boston Health Care for the Homeless has opened a place specifically to care for these overdose victims. The SPOT (Supportive Place for Observation and Treatment), is a repurposed room in their facility that is staffed by an addiction nurse and case manager. They provide a safe and medically monitored place for people to go for help as they are coming down from a high. The goal is to contribute to the reduction of overdose deaths in the Boston area.²
This solution has received some tough criticisms. Nurse practitioner at Boston Medical Center and the Gavin Foundation Brianne Fitzgerald believes, “It’s ridiculous… it’s one of the highest forms of enabling, and it gives up hope on people who use IV drugs.” However, others still point to the notion of trying different methods to at least help reduce overdose numbers. “…with the level of pandemic we’re dealing with — and I say pandemic because it’s no longer just an epidemic — any effort to get this problem under control is a worthwhile experiment.” said former state senator Steven Tolman.² Read the full article or learn more about SPOT.