CODAC in discussion to receive state funding for states only Harm Reduction Center

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — CODAC in Providence has applied for over $2 million in funding from the states opioid settlement fund, to run the states only harm reduction center. 

“An individual that is using substances can come to this site and can safely use,” Linda Hurley, the CEO of CODAC, told ABC 6 News. 

It’s a place where people with substance use disorder can go to test what they buy off the street, and use it in a safe place, with clean equipment.

There would also be professionals on staff to help prevent an overdose.

CODAC officials say this is not a matter of enabling drug users, but it is to help those suffering with addiction.

Hurley also told ABC 6 there is a need for these kind of facilities. 

“We had the third highest per capita overdose death in the country, we are now down to 8 highest out of 60, and that speaks for itself,” she said.

They would also test the products for people to make sure they aren’t laced with anything harmful. 

“18 months ago, over 70% of all the heroin that was confiscated in the state of Rhode Island had fentanyl in it,” Hurley said. 

Aside from the harm reduction center on the first floor, there would also be services offered for medical or addiction treatment, and even psychiatric help, if people ask for it, on the second floor. 

They also have Narcan available to give out to anyone who wants it.

“The taxpayers are going to benefit, the community is going to benefit from an appearance perspective, and also individuals in the community are going to benefit because these save lives,” Hurley continued. 

CODAC is constructing a new building, also in Providence, that would house the main services available for medical, psychiatric, and opioid treatment. 

The funding for the harm reduction center is still under discussion, but they hope to be up and running by the end of summer. 

Hurley told ABC 6 there would be a meeting on Thursday to further discuss funding, and next steps.

Categories: News, Rhode Island