Oh, What a World It Would Be – 

May 12, 2020 – I’m tired of reading about people being arrested for exhibiting symptoms of a medical condition. I’m frustrated by complacency in light of incremental “progress.” I’m heartbroken by all the obituaries of people dying preventable deaths… 

May 12, 2020 – What if we decided, collectively, to end the opioid/overdose crisis?  What would that look like? 

1. Legalize overdose prevention sites. Passing a bill at the state level doesn’t mandate we save lives. This legislation wouldn’t require spending. Instead, this change would signal to municipalities and nonprofit organizations that should they choose to be compassionate and fearless, the state will not bring criminal charges for saving lives.  

2. Decriminalize buprenorphine. When a person with substance use disorder uses buprenorphine in place of other opioids (usually of questionable purity), that person reduces their chance of overdose and death. We should encourage people to make safer decisions, not penalize them for doing so. We’ve seen this policy have positive impacts in Chittenden County; it’s time to bring some geographic equity to recovery in our state.

3. Distribute fentanyl test strips. So long as the illicit opioid market hasn’t been completely dominated by fentanyl, test strips will continue to have utility. In light of increasing overdoses involving multiple substances, drug testing supplies are critical. Further, research shows that when people are able to assess the potency of drugs, they modify their behavior to match perceived risk.



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