It’s time for an overdose prevention site!
In 2017, opiate overdoses tragically took the lives of more than one person a week in Portland, and more than one person a day in Maine. We believe those deaths are preventable and that Mainers deserve innovative and effective solutions to the opioid crisis.
Opening an Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) in Portland would be a powerful step toward significantly reducing these tragic deaths. In an OPS, trained medical professionals care directly for individuals as they use pre-obtained drugs, ensuring that the individuals use sterile supplies, and in the case of an overdose, are quickly revived with the overdose-reversal drug, Naloxone.
Operating in dozens of cities around the world, overdose prevention sites offer an affordable, effective, scientifically proven way to keep everyone in our communities safe, alive and cared for. It’s time to stop pushing people with substance use disorders out onto the streets and into the shadows. Isolation compounds addiction. Care enables recovery. Portland OPS is a new nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives at the epicenter of Maine’s overdose epidemic, by establishing a municipally sanctioned OPS in Portland.
Portland City Council
- Councilor - District 1
I know this idea freaks a lot of people out, but the data is pretty clear: safe injection sites decrease overdose deaths, reduce the transmission of diseases like HIV and hepatitis, get more people into treatment, and cut down on the number discarded needles found in outdoor spaces.
Quoted in the Portland Phoenix - Nov 1, 2018.
Dignity for Opiate Users
- Program Coordinator
We must take action now to provide safe spaces for people to access clean needles, drug testing for lethal additives and access to the overdose antidote naloxone. These sites, successfully established in other countries, have experienced zero mortalities among them, while people are watched over and provided with education and resources for recovery if requested. Let us stop the dying now and argue what is right and what is wrong later.
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