OPC would help us support one another by saving lives

As an employee who works in downtown Brattleboro, and as a sibling who has watched their brother struggle through addiction and recovery, I am hopeful about the conversations beginning around Brattleboro becoming a site for an overdose prevention center (OPC).

This touches close to my heart, because for many years, I lived in fear of receiving a phone call that my brother had died from an overdose.

That is not an experience I would wish on anyone. However, it has fundamentally shaped the way I now understand people who struggle with addiction.

The world can be a hard and unforgiving place, and we all find our own ways to cope. Addiction does not discriminate, nor is it a moral failing. Rather, it is a symptom of a larger issue of the systemic oppression we collectively face.

We should come together as a community to support one another in all of the ways we can, especially in effort to prioritize harm reduction.

I fully agree that "[n]o one should die from a preventable overdose. Overdose prevention centers save lives. They are a much-needed response to the unprecedented numbers of Americans dying from an overdose. OPCs reduce overdose death and connect people to ongoing care (drugpolicy.org)."

An OPC would be a welcome addition to our community in an effort to make it safer for everyone, and to do everything we can to prevent someone, like myself, from losing their loved one to a preventable overdose.

Hannah Sorila


This letter to the editor was submitted to The Commons.

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