End the Overdose Crisis Now!
No matter what we look like, or where we come from, the COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that at our core we are all humans. Our ability to get and stay well depends on everyone having what we need to prevent, treat, and recover from illness.
But, when it comes to the overdose crisis ravaging our communities, a powerful few try to distract us from the role they have played in passing failed 'tough on crime' policies, and letting drug corporations flood our communities with painkillers while healthcare lobbyists deny us the treatments and resources we need.
Now is the time to stand up and demand proven solutions from our politicians - like accessible healthcare, life-saving treatments, and harm reduction measures - to stop preventable overdose deaths, and to pull through the crisis by pulling together.
Take Action to #EndOverdoseNow
Contact Your Elected Officials
The next COVID-19 relief package needs to include money for harm reduction providers, who engage individuals who use drugs and are vulnerable to adverse drug-related outcomes and COVID-19. Funding these group, through syringe services programs, will help communities meet the needs of people and save lives.
We call on the Senate leadership to include $58 million for harm reduction and syringe services programs (SSPs) and other harm reduction service providers.
Additionally, we ask for the removal of the ban on the use of federal funds to purchase syringes and other related supplies in the next COVID-19 relief package and in the FY21 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill.
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People's Action Institute's Overdose Crisis Cohort
People’s Action Institute’s Overdose Crisis Cohort is working to develop a multiracial strategy that unites urban, suburban and rural communities and shifts responses to the crisis from those that stigmatize and criminalize drug users to those that center compassion and open up space for public health and harm reduction solutions at the local, state, and federal levels. We have been rooting our work in an understanding of the racist underpinnings and racialized impact of the War on Drugs, explicitly recognizing its impact on today’s context, while simultaneously recognizing the hardships faced by rural and white working class communities as well.
The War on Drugs has the potential to be one of the great uniters--or dividers--in our country. The future of democracy in the United States rests on forming an alliance between poor and working class people in the U.S. and bridging communities of color and white communities - a political feat that has gone from difficult to seemingly impossible in today’s racialized and volatile politics. The latest opioid crisis brings the impact of the War on Drugs to the broadest scope of people in U.S. history. It can either result in new levels of social destruction and a renewed police and penal state, or a new multiracial political alliance that renews the Progressive Movement.
We are working to bridge the gap and make connections across race/ ethnicity (black, brown, white), geography (urban, suburban, and rural), and experience (drug users, people in recovery, and people who have lost loved ones). Our member organizations have been moving and/ or exploring work at a range of levels in a number of states, including: Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia.