This week, the OSI-supported BRIDGES Coalition, an advocacy coalition working to end overdose and criminalization by promoting safe spaces, dignity, health, and justice for people who use drugs, will open a model overdose prevention site (OPS) in Baltimore as part of its Yes On My Block campaign in favor of legalizing the opening of overdose prevention sites across the state.
The installation will be hosted at NomüNomü Arts Collaborative at 709 N Howard Street on Tuesday, July 12 and Thursday, July 14. The site will offer an opportunity to learn more about the services provided and community benefits associated with overdose prevention sites, which legally operate in many countries around the world and, most recently, in New York City. Members of the public can sign up for a 30-minute tour of the OPS on Tuesday between 1pm-3pm at bmorehrc.org/tourtimes or come for an open house from 5 to 7pm, when drug reform advocates, and war on drugs survivors will be available for comment.
Overdose prevention sites are hygienic, supervised community spaces where people who use drugs can easily access life-changing and life-saving care like naloxone intervention and support networks. With overdose numbers skyrocketing, overdose prevention sites work against the detrimental paradigm of stigma and incarceration set by the War on Drugs, and directly connect people with essential care so they can lead safer, healthier lives. Research shows that overdose prevention sites can reduce fatalities in the area by 35%, and those that use overdose prevention sites are more likely to begin treatment and reduce or stop all drug use.