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Preventing overdose, saving lives

Overdose Prevention installlation.jpg
An installation of an overdose prevention site is on display at NoMüNoMü art collaborative Tuesday, July 12 from 5 to 7pm. Credit: Kam Kerr

Opioid overdoses take thousands of lives. And now Xylazine, a tranquilizer meant for large animals, has been discovered as a cutting agent, through a rapid analysis program led by Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center. A whopping 80 percent of drugs tested show additives, says OOCC director Robin Rickard:

“Fentanyl is in absolutely everything-- it’s in cocaine, it’s in pills, and you’re playing Russian roulette when you’re out there using. Now Xylazine is out there, it’s just not safe to use anything right now.”

Then Kam Kerr, from the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition, on why they advocate for safe-use spaces to prevent overdose and save lives:

“People who use drugs are human beings and deserve dignity and respect.” 

Links: Opioid Operational Command Center resources, Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition, BRIDGES Coalition, Overdose Prevention Site - Open House.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a 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?'