By Brandon Soderberg
A row of seats at the front of Baltimore City Council’s chambers was reserved for harm reductionists on January 13. They were there to celebrate a small but significant shift in how Baltimore deals with the overdose crisis: The introduction of a resolution to hold an informational hearing about safe consumption sites and the possibility of establishing them in Baltimore.
“Let me be clear, Baltimore has had an overdose crisis my entire life and what we have been afraid of or unwilling to do is address it as the public health issue that it is,” said City Council President Brandon Scott at the hearing. “And since 2015 there has been 3,500 fatal overdoses in Baltimore. That outweighs the number of people we lost even to gun violence in Baltimore City. This is about us rehumanizing people and understanding that our brothers and sisters, our mothers and sons who are struggling with addiction are human, and they deserve to be treated fairly and they deserve to get the help that they need.”