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A new report from The Justice Collaborative Institute and Data for Progress shows a majority of California voters support the use of overdose prevention programs to promote public health. This finding comes as the state struggles to address a surge in overdose fatalities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even before COVID, California led the country in overdose deaths. More than 5,000 people died in California in 2018 as a result of drug overdoses, more than in any other state. Now, legislators are considering a bill that would, among other things, permit San Francisco to pilot a supervised drug consumption site.
“We’ve seen these programs work in the U.S. and we’ve seen them work abroad,” said report author Dr. David Goodman-Meza, Assistant Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “It’s a matter of getting legislators to see what medical professionals and the public already recognize: Investing in harm reduction and overdose prevention programs saves lives not just in the short term, but in the long term.”
The full report is available here.