On Thursday, April 19th at Light City’s HealthLab, Scott Nolen, director of Open Society Institute’s Addiction and Health Equity program, will discuss innovations in opioid addiction in a talk entitled, “A Safer and Healthier Baltimore: The Role of Safe Consumption.” In addition, OSI and our grantee, Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition, will set up a “Safe Shape” pop-up safe consumption space, also called a safe injection facility (SIF), at HealthLab, like one that has been set up in Seattle and other cities.

In addition, Karen Webber, director of OSI-Baltimore’s Education and Youth Development program, will moderate a panel on “Restorative Practices in Schools” at Light City’s EduLab on Wednesday, April 18th. OSI-Baltimore Advisory Board member Jamie MacDonald is Chairperson of Labs at Light City.

Many US cities are considering opening SIFs, which have been proven to reduce overdose death and increase access to treatment in cities where they have opened, including Vancouver.

The New York Times Editorial Board recently published a powerful editorial, “Let Cities Open Safe Injection Sites.” Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program has supported the creation of such spaces in other countries, which has resulted in hundreds of lives saved and thousands of referrals to addiction counseling and other support services. New York City is discussing opening a SIF, Philadelphia recently took a significant step toward opening one, and the Washington Post wrote about attempts to replicate the success of the SIF in Vancouver.

Open Society Institute-Baltimore has been working to explore the possibility of opening a SIF in Baltimore, co-releasing a report on the subject and hosting educational events.

Posted in Baltimore Justice Report

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