Overdose prevention centers are evidence-based, legally sanctioned harm reduction facilities where people who use drugs can safely consume pre-obtained drugs under supervision of trained health care workers. In addition to preventing lethal overdoses, such facilities are designed to reduce the transmission of infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis, and connect patients with social services, including drug treatment and recovery services. Several communities across Massachusetts are interested in opening overdose prevention sites, but legislation is needed to establish the legal and regulatory framework for them to operate successfully.
Massachusetts for Overdose Prevention Centers (MA4OPC) is a statewide coalition of more than 30 organizations committed to establishing overdose prevention centers in Massachusetts. We believe every person who uses drugs deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, and trust. The coalition supports efforts to save lives, establish a culture of harm reduction and expand harm reduction strategies, and link people to treatment and recovery support services.
MA4OPC is the result of a growing grassroots movement that has been fighting for overdose prevention centers in our state for many years. We especially acknowledge the pioneering work of SIFMA NOW! and SIFMA NOW co-founder and activist, Aubri Esters, who passed away in June 2020. MA4OPC builds on their steadfast efforts to raise awareness and a sense of urgency among decision-makers to implement OPCs.