“Today’s court ruling removes an important barrier for local cities to invest in safe consumption spaces, a proven, lifesaving intervention that can help address the nation’s overdose epidemic.”
A federal judge ruled today that a Philadelphia-based nonprofit’s proposal to open the country’s first supervised consumption space does not violate federal law. This is a groundbreaking decision in a case that has been closely watched by cities around the country who are considering supervised consumption spaces. Also known as safe injection facilities, supervised consumption spaces allow people to consume pre-obtained drugs under the supervision of trained staff in an effort to reduce overdose deaths. The nonprofit, Safehouse, provides a range of overdose prevention services in the Philadelphia area.
Statement from Daliah Heller, who leads Vital Strategies’ Overdose Prevention Program
“Drug overdose has become the leading killer of adults age 18-50 in the United States, a crisis that requires an urgent response. Today’s court ruling removes an important barrier for local cities to invest in safe consumption spaces, a proven, lifesaving intervention operating in more than 120 locations in 10 countries. We commend Safehouse and the city of Philadelphia, for undertaking this effort and weathering the ensuing legal challenge. We urge more cities to follow their lead and implement this compassionate, evidence-based harm reduction strategy.”
Vital Strategies is leading an initiative to prevent overdose deaths by partnering with governments and affected communities to build tailored, science backed solutions. Vital Strategies is working to reduce overdose deaths in Pennsylvania and joined an amicus brief along with other leading public health and drug policy organizations in support of Safehouse last July.
Press Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384
About Vital Strategies
Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible.
To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat.