There’s more we can do to fight over­doses

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Tri­cia Chris­tensen, Sil­ver Spring

We have not tried “every­thing” to re­duce over­dose fa­tal­i­ties, as Gov. Larry Ho­gan pre­vi­ously stated, and while I ap­plaud The Sun’s ef­forts to describe other needed in­ter­ven­tions (“Af­ter Larry Ho­gan vowed to take on Mary­land's opi­oid epi­demic, deaths soared. What hap­pened?,” Oct. 10), there was no men­tion of the more con­tentious ev­i­dence-based in­ter­ven­tions. Dozens of stud­ies have proven safer con­sump­tion spa­ces are ef­fec­tive at pre­vent­ing dis­ease trans­mis­sion, re­duc­ing over­dose fa­tal­i­ties, and in­creas­ing ac­cess to care, but Mr. Ho­gan called this idea “in­sane” when leg­is­la­tion was in­tro­duced.

Ad­di­tion­ally, there are fewer opi­oidrelated deaths in states that have le­gal­ized cannabis and many re­ports of peo­ple us­ing cannabis to ease the mis­ery of opi­oid with­drawal or limit their use, yet leg­is­la­tion to al­low med­i­cal cannabis to be used for ad­dic­tion treat­ment stalled in the House of Del­e­gates.

Lastly, if we de­crim­i­nal­ized drug use en­tirely, peo­ple who use drugs would be less marginal­ized and less likely to use in riskier en­vi­ron­ments due to fear of po­lice in­ter­fer­ence. In the face of this over­dose cri­sis, we must do more.

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