Supervised drug consumption sites to come to R.I., exhibit opens to public to show how centers will work
These sites will come to the Ocean State as early as March of 2022.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- As Rhode Island becomes the first state in the country to pass a bill authorizing the use of supervised drug consumption sites, a new exhibit has come to Providence to show residents what these centers will look like.
The exhibit, located on Mathewson Street in Providence, is set to stay open through mid September. It’s made possible through a partnership with RICARES, and the Brown University School of Public Health.
This progressive move from Governor Dan McKee comes after the Ocean State saw 384 accidental overdose deaths last year.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? WHAT DO THESE SITES DO?
Experts define these facilities as a place where people can go to use pre-obtained drugs in the presence of medical professionals and other professionals who can provide life-saving services (like drug treatment and social services).
WHERE ELSE ARE THESE SUPERVISED CONSUMPTION CENTERS?
There are approximately 120 of these supervised consumption centers throughout 10 countries; Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Switzerland.
The first one ever came to Switzerland in the 1980’s.
Massachusetts is set to hear a bill on bringing a similar pilot program to the state in September.
WHERE/ WHEN WILL THESE SITES BE IN RHODE ISLAND?
Short answer- it’s too early to tell yet.
That’s because the Rhode Island Department of Health is now finalizing regulations (like what staffing will look like, rules, ect…)- set to be done by March of 2022.
Then, cities can apply to the department of health for the go-ahead to put up a site.
Advocates for these centers and experts say Providence and Woonsocket are two areas in the state that could benefit most from these sites.
For more information on this exhibit, click here.