Thursday, June 16th from 6-8:30pm
Laurelhurst Theatre – 2735 E Burnside)
Come join Rosehip and organizers from Street Roots, Outside In, Sisters of the Road, Cascade Aids Project, & others to discuss alternatives to public drug use in this event–Safer Spaces.
We’ll be joined by documentary filmmakers and harm reduction advocates Taeko Frost and Matt Curtis for a screening of ‘Everywhere But Safe: Public Injecting in New York’ (34 min) followed by a panel discussion on how Portland is addressing public drug use to promote community safety.
More about the event:
Open drug use is a public health issue in Portland. We’ve seen increases in overdose deaths and hepatitis C because people who inject drugs do not have a safe place to use. Syringe exchange programs, such as the one at Outside In, saves lives by providing sterile injecting equipment, overdose prevention education, and resources for improving the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs. But it isn’t enough.
We need to work together as a city to find alternatives to public drug use. Across the country, we’ve been seeing cities talk about integrating supervised injection facilities (SIFs) into our public health services. SIFs are a place where people who who drugs can inject or consume drugs under the supervision of trained personnel and connect to other life saving services. It removes public injection from the street or park to a hygienic, supervised space. SIFs have existed for over 30 years and there are 98 SIFs operating in 10 countries. There is only one SIF in North America and all 75+ of the the scientific research articles says it reduces HIV, hepatitis C, and overdose deaths while saving money and lives.
We’re ready to have the conversation! We’ll be co-sponsoring an event on Thursday, June 16th from 6-8:30pm (Laurelhurst Theatre – 2735 E Burnside) to have a community conversation about ways Portland can find alternatives to public drug use. We are inviting two filmmakers who are leaders in public health and harm reduction in New York City to join us for the Portland premiere of Everywhere But Safe: Public Injecting in New York (34 minutes) followed by a panel discussion with community representatives. StreetRoots wrote about the documentary and since it’s premiere in NYC there have been events all over the country. The filmmakers have hosted similar events in Seattle (300+ people at Town Hall!), Chicago, New York City (600+ people, panel was moderated by Amy Goodman!) and Baltimore which has gained a lot of press coverage
These events have served as a catalyst for movement towards more progressive and supportive policies for people who use drugs to prevent overdose, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and restore the humanity and compassion of our public health system.