Hands exchange a fentanyl test strip packet. The packaging reads "Test before you ingest."

Legal Regulation and Safer Supply

People have a right to know what goes in their bodies. Prohibition has created an unregulated drug supply that is unpredictable. It is driving overdose deaths. The Drug Policy Alliance is exploring legal regulation and safer supply as a legal, known alternative to the unregulated drug supply. It will replace prohibition with equity-centered policies and practices.

What is Legal Regulation and Safer Supply?

Policymakers need new tools to address the unregulated drug supply. Criminalization does not work. Legal regulation and safer supply refer to policies and practices that allow drugs to be produced and distributed legally. Through regulation, policymakers can impact how drugs are produced, accessed, and consumed. This can lead to better health and safety outcomes.

Safer Supply Saves Lives

In 2021, 107,600 people died from an overdose. These deaths are driven by an unregulated drug supply. Legal regulation and safer supply can help keep people alive by reducing the risks of consuming unknown substances.

Source: CDC

Invest Savings in Communities

The drug war is an expensive waste of tax dollars that spends our resources on failed prohibitionist policies. The U.S. government should instead invest in evidence-based health alternatives, supportive services, and better approaches to regulation.

Regulation Must Include Equity

There is a spectrum of what legal regulation and safe supply can look like. By learning from existing models, DPA is working to advance reforms grounded in health, equity, and human rights.

Hands exchange a fentanyl test strip packet. The packaging reads "Test before you ingest."

What DPA is Doing:

  • Leading the conversation on legal regulation and safer supply in the United States.
  • Hosting convenings of experts to explore various models for each drug class.
  • Conducting town halls with people who use drugs.

Learn more now about legal regulation and safer supply.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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