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Harm Reduction During The Pandemic

Craig Zirpolo
A syringe of Naloxone, a drug that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose

The opioid overdose crisis accelerated over the past year, as fentanyl drove deaths. State lawmakers are considering whether ‘overdose prevention sites’ are the answer. We speak with two community outreach coordinators with the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition. Ricky Morris describes how the pandemic forced changes in on-the-ground activities. Such as, the coalition stopped setting up mock safe sites as demonstrations. But Samantha Kerr says the layout would look similar to vaccination sites.

Learn more about Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition and the BRIDGES Coalition. Read an op-ed on overdose prevention sites published in Maryland Matters and co-authored by Samantha Kerr. Read SB279 and HB396.

Maureen Harvie is Senior Supervising Producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.
Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a Senior Producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'