Scott Nolen, director of OSI-Baltimore’s Drug Addiction Treatment program, joined Kevin Lindamood, executive director of Healthcare for the Homeless, for a presentation as part of yesterday’s Health Lab at Light City on innovative approaches to homelessness and addiction.
Nolen underlined the extent of the addiction crisis by pointing out that 52,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year, more that than the number of people packed into Camden Yards for Opening Day, taking place across town at the same time. In terms of solutions to the overdose crisis, he stressed the importance listening to people in the community who have lived experience with addiction and referenced a talk during OSI’s Solutions Summit by William Miller, Jr. a Baltimore resident and peer advocate who works for Bmore POWER, a harm-reduction peer network.
He also talked about the need to focus on harm reduction, to keep drug users from dying, and in particular, the need to consider unconventional approaches, like safe consumption spaces, which he also addressed in a recent Baltimore Sun op-ed.
OSI-Baltimore Advisory Board member Jamie McDonald, founder of Generosity, Inc., is volunteer co-chair of Light City.