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.
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.
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
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.
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.