Posted by Jesse Harvey
On Friday, we will have two Co-Directors of Portland Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) speak at our club meeting: Brittney La Shier (on left) and Lizzy Handschy (on right).
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.
The Portland City Council Health and Human Services & Public Safety Committee will begin a discussion about overdose prevention sites at their May 14th meeting, at 5:30PM in City Hall.