About the Legislation

The Bill

H. 1981 | S. 1242
Reps. Dylan A. Fernandes & Marjorie C. Decker | Sen. Julian Cyr
An Act relative to preventing overdose deaths and increasing access to treatment

Overdose prevention centers, sometimes called safe consumption sites, 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.

This bill (H. 1981/S. 1242) would:

  • Create a 10-year pilot program to allow the establishment of overdose prevention centers
  • Require local authorization and approval by the local board of health
  • Include civil and criminal protections for staff, clients, and operators
  • Require data collection to inform public health efforts and prevent overdose deaths in the Commonwealth

This bill has the strong support of leading medical and public health advocacy stakeholder groups, major Massachusetts hospitals and providers, and statewide nonprofits. To learn more about the coalition supporting this bill, visit here.

Fact Sheet