By Brandon Soderberg
Last week, the Abell Foundation released a report encouraging Baltimore to establish overdose prevention sites—regulated locations staffed with medical personnel where people can use drugs. This report, “The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts” comes at a moment when attitudes towards overdose prevention sites (or as they are sometimes called, “safe consumption sites” or “safe injection facilities”), a solution that has been internationally embraced for years, is finally changing in the United States.
“While providing a crucial service, overdose prevention sites also serve larger public health goals, such as increasing the dissemination of sterile drug use materials and changing norms and customs around drug use,” the report reads. “For many people, overdose prevention sites are a mere entry point into the system in which they get other services; for others, overdose prevention sites remain the only engagement they ever have with medical professionals.”