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Boston Health Care For The Homeless Opens Safe Room For Heroin Users

BOSTON (CBS) --  Boston's Health Care for the Homeless provides medical treatment to an estimated 12,000 homeless people each year. Providers have now turned a conference room in their Albany Street building into a critical care unit for individuals who have shot heroin.

"Here on the block, we're responding to two to five overdoses a day," says Barry Bock of the Boston Health Care for Homeless Program.

"And almost as many within our building," Bock says.


The unit is called S.P.O.T -- Supportive Place for Observation and Treatment. It's a place where the homeless, who've just shot up can come and be monitored.

"If things are in a bad way, and you're going to overdose, at least we have everything at our fingertips to reverse that," says Dr. Jessie Gaeta.

In Massachusetts alone, 4 people a day die from opiate overdoses. And the problem is even worse in the homeless community. The S.P.O.T. program may help that.

"The hope is that while we're monitoring them, we can counsel them, and get them into treatment," says Bock.

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