This bill would allow the creation of two overdose prevention sites in Maine. Overdose prevention sites are supervised health care settings where people can use drugs in a safe environment, under the supervision of trained staff. Often these sites also offer basic health care, counseling and referrals to health and social services, including substance use treatment.
Every overdose death is a preventable death. But too much of our drug policy is focused on punishment and incarceration rather than treatment and prevention. Sites like these have been in use in Europe and Canada, and have been shown to prevent overdose deaths and reduce the spread of infectious diseases associated with intravenous drug use, as well as serving as a gateway into care and supportive services. This policy represents a fundamental shift in how we approach substance use - focusing on compassion instead of punishment and using evidence-based policies to save lives.
The bill died after being voted down in each chamber.