As part of last week’s Labs at Light City, Open Society Institute and our grantee, Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition, constructed and hosted tours of a pop-up safe consumption site, where visitors can see how such a site allows drug users to use in a safe environment, access medical care, and, if they’re ready for it, drug treatment. Take a video tour of the pop-up here. Addiction and Health Equity director, Scott Nolen discussed innovations in opioid addiction in a talk entitled, “A Safer and Healthier Baltimore: The Role of Safe Consumption.”
The pop-up will be on display again tonight at Morgan State University event called Health and Vacancy: The Case of Baltimore, from 5:30 to 8pm.
Also last week, the Baltimore Sun published an op-ed by Dr. Mike Benusic, a physician and public health graduate student at Johns Hopkins, “Safe Consumption Sites Save Lives,” in which he expressed his disappointment that the Maryland legislature suddenly voted against the House and Senate bills that would have authorized the process for organizations to establish a site.
OSI-Baltimore’s Addiction and Health Equity program has been working with Sarah Evans, senior program officer with Open Society Foundation’s Public Health Program and OSI grantee Dr. Susan Sherman, a professor in the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, to examine the idea of opening a SIF in Baltimore.