Overdose Prevention Sites Save Lives
Every day in 2019, nearly seven Marylanders died from an opioid overdose – and COVID-19 has led to even more fatal overdoses. According to the most recent data available, there was a 15% increase in overdose deaths during the first nine months of 2020. Overdose Prevention Sites (OPS) are safe, private facilities that provide people who use drugs a place for consumption and life-saving interventions, like naloxone and access to treatment services. OPS are a proven solution to the opioid overdose crisis and data has shown that overdose fatality dropped 35% in the area around a single OPS within one year of opening.
We Support the 2021 Overdose and Infectious Disease Prevention Services Program Bill
Senate Bill 288 and House Bill 326 introduced in the Maryland State General Assembly would allow community-based organizations to establish OPS where people could use pre-purchased drugs in a supervised setting. The supervision provided at overdose prevention sites can dramatically reduce overdose fatality risk in Maryland and save scarce resources.
We are urging the General Assembly to implement this proven intervention that is already in use across the globe to reduce overdose deaths. The proposed Overdose and Infectious Disease Prevention Services Program mirrors more than 150 such programs already established in more than 60 cities in 12 countries, with numerous studies demonstrating the positive impacts.
We want to meet the needs of our neighbors, patients, friends, and family members. Help us save lives in Maryland by contacting your legislator today to show your support for Senate Bill 288 and House Bill 326. Click here to learn more about how Overdose Prevention Sites can save lives in Maryland.
BRIDGES is an advocacy coalition working to end overdose and criminalization by promoting safe spaces, dignity, health, and justice for people who use drugs.
We are advocating for the legal authorization of overdose prevention sites in Maryland that promote:
- SAFETY because safer consumption in OPS build stronger communities
- HEALTH because OPS provide a bridge to wellness and healthcare
- DIGNITY because OPS bring loved ones out of isolation, into healing
- JUSTICE because OPS provide the safety we need and the justice we deserve
American Civil Liberties Union – Maryland | Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition | Bmore POWER | Baltimore Psychedelic Society | Baltimore Safe Haven | Behavioral Health System Baltimore | Charm City Care Connection | Chase Brexton Healthcare | DC Dance Safe | Drug Policy Alliance | GBDSA | HIPS | Health Care for the Homeless | IBR REACH | Law Enforcement Action Partnership | Maryland Communities United | Maryland Peer Advisory Council | National Council on Drug Dependency and Alcoholism | North Ave Mission | Nurses for Justice – Baltimore | Open Society Institute-Baltimore | Organization of Hope | PIVOT Program | Powell Recovery Center | Power Inside | Progressive Maryland | The Ancestor Project | Red Shed Village | SPARC Women’s Center | SWOP Baltimore | Voices of Hope for Maryland | Youth Empowered Society: YES Drop-in Center
All coalition members must uphold the following values and principles in the work:
- Prioritize relationships — At the core of the coalition are high-quality, compassionate, empathetic relationships towards each other, our communities, and our loved ones.
- Open communication — This coalition is built upon open communication rooted in truth-sharing, transparency, authenticity, and simply checking in on each other.
- Leaderfulness — In BRIDGES, there is room for all. This means a strong practice of equitable facilitation, accepting leadership, showing up, listening, and reviewing notes.
- Humility and flexibility — Moving the coalition forward requires continuously engaging in critical self-reflection and willingness to learn and shift our personal perspectives.
- Racial justice analysis — Growing a movement to increase safety for all requires a willingness to understand (and be honest about) how systems have been designed to stigmatize Black people, communities of color and poor people.
Do you or your organization want to join the BRIDGES Coalition for Overdose Prevention Sites?
Use this contact form to send a message to the BRIDGES Coalition directly. If this is an emergency, please seek the appropriate immediate help.
Other Ways to Take Action:
- Talk to your representatives! Visit mdelect.net to identify your State legislators and their contact information. Also, please follow BHRC for information about other ways to engage in policy advocacy in Annapolis.
- Join us on social media! Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
- Host a BRIDGES Demo OPS (B-DOPS) to learn more about community member perspectives about OPS and help the movement grow. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 410.205.5143 if interested.