This afternoon, the DC Council voted to advance the “Opioid Use Disorder Treatment & Safe Access Amendment Act of 2018”, legislation that will help curb the overdose crisis in the Nation’s capital. The omnibus bill includes provisions that make the temporary emergency measure that decriminalizes drug checking kits permanent, removes restrictions on syringe exchange programs, and expands access to medication-assisted treatment in the District.
Statement from Queen Adesuyi, policy coordinator for national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance:
“People in the District have suffered enormous harm and loss due to accidental overdose deaths. Today, the DC Council embraced what works: empowering community-based organizations and people who use drugs with life-saving resources like drug checking kits, safe consumption tools, and increased access to medication-assisted treatment. This legislation takes critical steps toward implementing life-saving and evidence-based solutions to address overdose deaths in the District.
We hope the DC Council takes even bolder steps toward reducing overdose deaths, such as decriminalizing drug paraphernalia, which would continue to shift our drug policies from criminalization to a public health approach.”