420 with CNW — Rhode Island Senate Passes Legislation Creating Safe Sites for Illicit Drug Users

March 5, 2021 16:25:00

Opioids initially gained popularity in the 1990s as doctors started prescribing prescription opioids to patients. Over the years, there has been a sharp increase in overdose-related deaths across the globe, from both prescribed and illicit drugs. To combat the growing opioid crisis, Australia, Canada, and some European countries established safe consumption sites (“SCS”) to help prevent overdose deaths and to provide substance-use disorder treatment to individuals.

The United States, however, doesn’t have a single safe consumption site, despite losing over 750,000 people from 1999–2018 to drug overdoses. However, the country may see its first-ever SCS if either of two bills in Rhode Island’s General Assembly passes. Initially introduced back in 2019, bills H 5245 and S 0016 would approve the creation of safe consumption sites in the state. According to Substance Use Policy, Education, and Recovery PAC co-chair Haley McKee, the bills…


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