Safer Consumption Spaces for Baltimore City
You may have been hearing a lot of news lately about safe injection facilities or safer consumption spaces, since Philadelphia officials came out in support of implementing them in their city and San Francisco declared they will open two in July. But did you know that safer consumption spaces legislation, Senate Bill 288 and House Bill 326, are being discussed right now in Maryland? We need more momentum from community support to get it passed, so let’s all consider what safer consumption spaces could look like for Baltimore City.
Contrary to some thought, safer consumption spaces do not increase drug crimes or use in the community. In fact, it’s our current policies that force people who use drugs to hide in vacant buildings and public restrooms, leaving behind hazardous drug paraphernalia, that contribute to neighborhood distress. If we provide an indoor space for drug use with a needle exchange and proper drug equipment disposal, we can keep our neighborhoods cleaner, and connect people who are otherwise hard to reach with resources for HIV and Hepatitis C testing, health education, and referrals to drug treatment.