Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a public health crisis that is affecting all of us – and we at the Drug Policy Alliance are doing all we can to respond to this pandemic, protect those we serve, and carry out our shared mission.
We are deeply concerned about the well-being of our community members most vulnerable during this public health crisis – people who use drugs; people in jails, prisons, and immigrant detention centers; and people without housing.
They face unique challenges that put them at increased risk of contracting and spreading coronavirus. Although many of us are able to take precautions such as social distancing, these populations are in environments with conditions that can create or exacerbate harms.
We worry that people who use drugs will face even more challenges to access life-saving harm reduction services and medications. We know that people who are incarcerated and detained will remain stuck in crowded, unsanitary spaces. We’ve learned that people without housing will struggle to manage risks without adequate supports, resources, or medical care. We will continue to work in coalition with our partners to center the needs of these communities.
But we also need your help. We understand if the COVID-19 crisis makes you unable to give a gift today. But if you can, any gift, no matter how small, will help us have an impact in the midst of this pandemic. Please make a contribution today.
Many of our allies have created useful resources for protecting these communities during this critical time. Please check out the information below to learn how to protect yourselves and others.
Harm Reduction Resources
Harm Reduction Coalition: Guidance for People Who Use Drugs and Harm Reduction Programs
Vital Strategies: Resources for Drug Use and COVID-19 Risk Reduction
Yale Program in Addiction Medicine, Global Health Justice Partnership, and Crackdown: Guidance for People Who Use Substances on COVID-19
Bridge to Treatment: COVID-19 National Emergency Response
SAMHSA: COVID-19 Guidance and Resources
COVID-19/ Prison Holistic Self Care & Protection (created by families and advocates)
Criminal Justice & Legal Resources
The Justice Collaborative: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response and Resources
The Marshall Project: Tracking Prisons’ Response to Coronavirus
The Vera Institute of Justice: Coronavirus Guidance for the Criminal and Immigration Legal Systems
The Appeal: Political Report: The Coronavirus Response: Spotlight on State & Local Governments
The Justice Roundtable: Recommendations for Protecting Incarcerated Youth and Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Federal Defenders: COVID-19 Resources
Law Enforcement Action Partnership: Incarceration in the Age of Coronavirus
Data for Progress and The Justice Collaborative Institute: Fighting the Coronavirus & Protecting the Unhoused
Movement for Family Power: The Foster System and COVID-19
DPA has signed on to the following letters calling for the protection these communities and other lifesaving measures during this public health crisis.
Coalition Letter to Governors in States with Medical Cannabis Programs
Letter Calling for the Release All People Detained in ICE Custody
Letter to Governors, Mayors, and Sheriffs to Reform Jail and Detention Practices During COVID-19
Campaign Demanding a Just and Humane Response to COVID-19 Outbreaks in Prisons and Jails
Letter to DOJ to End 1325/1326 Prosecutions
A Global Response for Racial Solidarity Under COVID-19 Pandemic
Joint Statement Calling for the Inclusion of Immigrants in the COVID-19 3.0 Relief Package
Urban Survivors' Union Letter RE: Medication-Assisted Treatment Access During COVID-19
Letter to Governor Gavin Newsom RE: COVID-19 and Immigration Detention in California
LA Jails COVID-19 Advocacy Group Sign-on Letter to LA County Officials
Letter to San Francisco Elected Officials RE: COVID19 and Criminal Legal System
Letter - Central District of California RE: COVID-19
Letter to LAPD City Attorney RE: COVID-19 Containment in Los Angeles
Letter to AG Becerra Requesting Urgent Action to Address COVID-19 Threat in Jails, Prisons and Courtrooms
Letter to Governor Gavin Newsom RE: Homelessness and COVID-19
Letter to Governor Gavin Newson RE: Expedite Health4All Elders
Letter of California Community Groups Urging Congress to Test & Treat ALL COVID-19 Patients
Letter to California Community Supervision Agencies, including California State Parole and County Probation, to Update Policies and Practices to Protect People’s Health and Safety During COVID-19
Open Letter to Cuomo and DeBlasio to Protect the Homeless from COVID-19