When it comes to the opioid epidemic, there are lots of dangerous "solutions" that amount to little more than doubling down on the failed war on drugs. A public health crisis deserves a public health solution.

Needle exchange programs are one of the most effective interventions for people with serious drug use and addictions. They reach active users and serve as an entry point into substance abuse detox, treatment and HIV testing. Unfortunately, in Massachusetts, these programs are restricted by outdated laws rooted in stigma—the very stigma against drug users that has contributed to the explosion of the opioid crisis.

With your help, we can lift the commonwealth's outdated, arbitrary cap on life-saving needle exchange programs.

Recently, the Massachusetts Senate adopted a budget amendment to allow greater access to needle exchange programs across Massachusetts, but we need to make sure that provision is in the final budget that is signed by the governor.

Please ask your legislators to support allowing the Department of Public Health to establish needle exchange programs when and where they are needed most.

You can be part of the solution: ensure that solutions are based on sound public health practices, not further misguided criminalization, by contacting your lawmakers.

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