On Wednesday, September 6, the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery will conduct a public hearing on S.1081, An Act to authorize public health workers to pursue new measures to reduce harm and stigma for people affected by substance use disorder, filed by Senator Brownsberger.
This bill would give Massachusetts cities and towns the option of implementing safer drug consumption programs, providing a safe space for people to consume pre-obtained drugs under the supervision of healthcare professionals and to receive other related services, such needle exchange, overdose prevention, and treatment referrals. The bill would authorize the Department of Public Health (DPH) to approve the implementation of such programs with approval from the Board of Heath in the hosting city or town, and would require DPH to report the program’s results and any recommendations to the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Heath Care Financing and the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security within one year of implementation.
Senator Brownsberger has previously shared his thoughts on the topic and his motivation for filing the bill, which you can find here.
Members of the public are encouraged to attend this hearing and provide written or oral testimony to the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery in support or opposition of this bill.
DATE: Wednesday, September 6
TIME: 1 PM
LOCATION: Massachusetts State House, Hearing Rooms A1 & A2
Media Coverage of the 9/6 Hearing:
- WWLP 22 News, “Massachusetts Lawmakers Considering Supervised Injection Sites”
- Charlestown Patriot-Bridge,“Rep Ryan, Mayor Walsh Not Sold on Hosting Safe Injection Facility”
- MassLive, “Mass. Medical Society Testifies on Drug Use Clinics”
- WBUR, “Mass. Lawmakers Debate Supervised Injection Facilities”
- Worcester Telegram via State House News Service, “Supervised Injection Sites Seen as ‘Roadblock to Death'”
Supervised Injection Facilities in the News:
- Wicked Local Yarmouth, “Cape Cod Divided on Possible Injection Sites”
- Charlestown Patriot-Bridge, “Long-Time Charlestown Physician Calls for Safe Injection Site in Boston”
- Lowell Sun: “Opioid-Injection Facilities Worthy of Careful Study”
- Public Health Post, “Supervised Injection Facilities: Harm or Harm Reduction?”
- Boston Globe, “Getting Real About Heroin”
- Boston Globe, “Officials Balk at Supervised Drug Injection Facility”
- WBUR, “Harsh Reception for Supervised Drug Injection in Boston”
- Telegram & Gazette, “Combating Drug Deaths: ‘Safer’ Injection Sites Pushed”
- WBUR: “AMA Endorses Trying Supervised Injection Facilities”
- State House News Service via Sentinel Enterprise, “Mass. Senate Measure Calls for Study on Opioid-Injection Facilities”
- Berkshire Eagle, “Injection Clinics Gaining Support”
- WBUR, “Gov. Baker Says He’d Like More Information on Safe Injection Vote”
- Boston Globe, “Baker Voices Concern About Drug-Injection Clinics”
- WBUR, “As Opioid Epidemic Rages On, Massachusetts Medical Society Backs Supervised Injection Rooms”
- Boston.com, “Massachusetts is Moving Closer to Opening a Safe Injection Site for Drug Users”
- Boston Magazine, “Massachusetts May Be Closer to Opening a Safe Injection Facility”
- WBUR, “Massachusetts Medical Society Trustees Ask Members to Support Safe Injection Facilities for Drug Users”