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Some 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.

 

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

 

“It’s a safe place to be,” said 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.”

 

Tommy is looking for a job and housing, and we’ve agreed not to use his full name. He’s one of 180 people who’ve come to this former conference room to ride out an opioid or other drug high since SPOT opened in late April. Nurses have logged almost 900 visits. At least half of the patients have come more than once.

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Kaiser Health News

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