Berkshire DA testifies on supervised drug consumption sites

Opioid Crisis

BOSTON (WWLP) — Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington testified before the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery on the topic of supervised drug consumption sites Monday.

Safe consumptions sites are places where an individual can use controlled substances in the presence of medical professionals. They are considered by many to be an effective tool in combatting the current opioid overdose crisis. These sites have been installed across Canada and versions have been approved by lawmakers in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.

The hearing included a section devoted to decriminalization and another focused on safe consumption sites, also known as supervised injection sites.

Under current law, any individual caught with a controlled substance not “obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order, from a practitioner while acting in the course of his professional practice,” could face severe criminal charges. If the proposed bills on decriminalization passes through the Legislature, the criminal component of individuals holding controlled substances would instead face a fine of no more than $50.

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