Officials in Seattle on Friday approved the nation’s first “safe-injection” sites for users of heroin and other illegal drugs, calling the move a drastic but necessary response to an epidemic of addiction that is claiming tens of thousands of lives each year. The sites — which offer addicts clean needles, medical supervision and quick access to drugs that reverse the

effects of an overdose — have long been popular in Europe. Now, with the U.S. death toll rising, the idea is gaining traction in a number of American cities, including Boston, New York City and Ithaca, N.Y. While opponents say the sites promote illegal drug use, supporters say they can keep people alive and steer them toward treatment. READ MORE