About 2,000 people in Maryland died of drug overdoses last year and the governor has declared a “State of Emergency.” In the coming weeks, OSI-Baltimore will host two important discussions about how to reduce the public health impact of this crisis, particularly on communities of color.
Next Thursday, May 18th, OSI and the New Day Campaign will host a conversation about Safe Injection Facilities as a Public Health Strategy. The event will feature Sarah Evans, senior program manager with the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program and former coordinator of Vancouver’s Insite, North America’s first and only legal supervised drug injection facility, Dr. Greg Hobelmann, a physician at Baltimore’s Ashley Addiction Treatment, singer Simone Speed, author Clarence Brown, and clients of Powell Recovery Center. Panelists will discuss how safe injection facilities (SIFs) fit into a broader harm reduction strategy and how public education and stigma reduction could make them more possible and less controversial. The Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition will lead an opioid overdose response training at the beginning of the evening. Free and open to the public. The event beings at 6:00pm at the Maryland Art Place. REGISTER HERE.
On June 8th, as part of OSI’s Talking About Race series, we’re hosting a conversation on Harm Reduction and Communities of Color featuring Kassandra Frederique, New York State Director at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and Dr. Samuel Roberts, Associate Professor of History and Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University, Miriam Alvarez, Outreach Coordinator at Behavioral Health System Baltimore, and Rajani Gudlavalleti, Community Organizer. We’ll discuss historical tensions between drug policy advocates and communities of color as well as current harm reduction practices. Free and open to the public. The event beings at 6:30 pm at the University of Baltimore’s Moot Court Room. REGISTER HERE.