In Pennsylvania, deaths involving cocaine and fentanyl have been on the rise over the last few years, although it's unclear whether victims of those overdoses knew they were using the powerful synthetic opioid.
Echoing an interview he gave last month at a recovery event in Philadelphia, Adams said the federal government should help quell the crisis by putting more resources toward measures more widely accepted by the public, such as needle exchanges.
William M. McSwain said his office could potentially seek court orders to bar the facility's opening or initiate criminal forfeiture proceedings against the operation. Arrests could be a possibility, too.
Advocates' push for a safe injection site in Philadelphia is beset by enormous risk, but animated by the conviction that saving people from overdosing is less a radical idea than a common-sense proposition.
On Wednesday, Mayor Kenney signed an executive order declaring a disaster in the neighborhood, and ordering the creation of an emergency operations center aimed at lowering the bureaucratic walls that have so far hampered the city's efforts to address the crisis.
The organization, called Safehouse, is the city's first concrete step toward the opening of a safe injection site - where people in addiction can use drugs under medical supervision, and be revived if they overdose.
Aubrey Whelan is a staff writer assigned to the enterprise team. Since joining the Inquirer in 2012, she has covered crime in Philadelphia and everything in Chester County.