Issues

Booths with chairs and tables in a clean, bright overdose prevention center have harm reduction kits and supplies for visitors.

Overdose Prevention Centers (OPCs)

No one should die from a preventable overdose. Overdose prevention centers (OPCs) save lives. They are a much-needed response to the unprecedented numbers of Americans dying from an overdose. OPCs reduce overdose death and connect people to ongoing care. The Drug Policy Alliance is the leading voice for making OPCs available across the United States.

What is an overdose prevention center?

Overdose prevention centers (OPCs) are facilities designed to reduce the potential risks of drug use, including overdose and unwanted public use. OPCs help bring public drug use indoors. Participants bring their own drugs. Trained staff provide sterile supplies and intervene if an overdose occurs. OPCs connect people with addiction services and social supports, including voluntary treatment.

OPCs Save Lives

Over 35 years of research have demonstrated that OPCs reduce overdose deaths. They also reduce risk behaviors associated with HIV and hepatitis, and increase connections to health services.

Source: ICER, NIH, NIH

OPCs Improve Public Safety

OPCs reduce drug use in public. This includes reducing syringes discarded in public. OPCs also decrease participants’ risk of physical or sexual violence.

Source: BMC, NIH, NIH

U.S. Needs More OPCs

Sixty-four percent of Americans support opening OPCs. Yet, they are not widely available across the US. There are two OPCs in New York City. One is expected to open in Rhode Island in 2023.

Source: Data for Progress
Booths with chairs and tables in a clean, bright overdose prevention center have harm reduction kits and supplies for visitors.

What DPA is Doing:

  • Leading the charge at the federal level to ensure local and state overdose prevention centers can operate free from federal interference.
  • Advancing campaigns to open overdose prevention centers with key partners in California and New York.
  • Providing support to allies across the US that are pushing legislation at the state or local level.
  • Convening experts and organizations to build a collective OPC agenda and share best practices and lessons learned.

Learn more about overdose prevention centers.

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