SAFETY FIRST –
July 1, 2021 – “If we are truly going to rein in the drug overdose epidemic, we must recognize drug addiction as the health problem it is, rather than as merely a crime,” Sen. Josh Miller, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services said. “People who are addicted need help and protection from the most dangerous possibilities of addiction. Having a place where someone can save them from an overdose and where there are people offering them the resources they need for treatment is a much better alternative to people dying alone in their homes or their cars.” Legislation approved by the state Senate Thursday creates a two-year pilot program to open the centers.
“The opioid epidemic has become a tremendous public health crisis, with overdoses of prescription and non-prescription opioids claiming a record number of lives,” Rep. John Edwards said. “Not only do harm reduction centers severely mitigate the chance of overdose, they are a gateway to treatment and rehabilitation of people with substance abuse disorder. These locations will be under the supervision of trained medical staff who can direct addicts toward substance use disorder treatment. It’s a way to tackle this epidemic while saving lives in the process.”
The bill now heads to Gov. Dan McKee as House lawmakers approved the measure earlier this week.