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Injecting fentanyl is dangerous. Should users be encouraged to smoke it?

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Been doing it for years At a downtown public health clinic, staffers have been giving drug users small glass pipes, along with sterile needles and other supplies. The strategy: Users could choose to smoke street drugs, limiting infected wounds and the spread of diseases associated with injecting.

Some public health advocates and drug users believe that smoking fentanyl — the street opioid that causes thousands of deaths — can also reduce the risk of health problems. chance of a fatal overdose compared to injecting the drug. Scott, a user who recently picked up supplies during the week, now smokes more fentanyl than he uses needles because injections caused his hands to swell and damaged his veins. He said he overdosed twice while injecting fentanyl, but never while smoking.

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