Last night, Candy Kerr and Ricky Morris, Sr., members of the OSI-supported BRIDGES Coalition, appeared on WEAA’s For the Culture, hosted by Farajii Muhammad, to talk about the prospect of opening Overdose Prevention Sites (OPS) in Maryland.
You can listen to the segment here – it starts at the 30:50 mark of the Hour 2 stream.
Morris talked about his experience living on the street and losing his brother to overdose. On the day of the overdose, his brother and cousin bought from the same source but used separately. His cousin was with his girlfriend and survived because she was able to get help. His brother, who used alone, died.
Morris subsequently learned how to administer the overdose-reversing drug Naloxone (Narcan) and used it to save the life of a woman having an overdose.
“That’s when I knew I had a calling, to honor my brother, because I don’t want others to have senseless deaths that can be avoided,” he said. “Ever since then I put my heart and soul into this work.”
Kerr talked about OPSs, which provide a place for people to use drugs under supervision and provide health and treatment resources for those who want them. Morris noted that there are over 150 OPSs around the world and they’ve been used millions of times without a single overdose.
Kerr described legislation currently before the General Assembly that would allow for the establishment of six pilot Overdose Prevention Sites around the state. “We have all the data. we have all the life experience,” said Kerr. “We just need the legislators to get on board and be held accountable for the thousands of lives that they’re letting be lost by not implementing new strategies.”
The House of Delegates Finance Committee will hear the bill this Thursday, March 11th.