Philly needs Overdose Prevention Centers

Philadelphia Mayor and City Council

The trauma of Philadelphia’s overdose crisis is felt city wide. The Philadelphia Health Department released their annual report which details that in 2021, Philadelphia reported the highest number of unintentional overdose deaths on record, with 1,276 fatalities.

We need Overdose Prevention Centers in Philadelphia to address our crisis and save the lives of our family members, neighbors and friends.

Sign this petition to our Mayor and City Council to demand the opening of Overdose Prevention Centers in Philadelphia!

Sponsored by
Philadelphia, PA

To: Philadelphia Mayor and City Council
From: [Your Name]

Dear Mayor Kenney and Philadelphia City Council Members,

The trauma of Philadelphia’s overdose crisis is felt city wide -impacting medical staff in emergency rooms, outreach crews and EMTs who reverse overdoses in the field, the families of people who use drugs, and the people who use drugs themselves--who risk, confront, and reverse overdoses daily.

We are all impacted by the grief of so many overdose deaths in our city, compounded by the replacement of heroin and prescription pills with fentanyl–and the introduction of new toxic additives such as xylazine, a tranquilizer that does not respond to the medications used to reverse an opioid overdose.

Overdose prevention centers, which exist in New York City and abroad, are focused on preventing overdose deaths and providing safe spaces for people to get the services they need - including wound care, drug testing, clean needles, narcan, connection to mental health and social services and low barrier connection to treatment.

Chief among the barriers, the social stigma of drug use often prevents people from getting the care and services they need. The compassion of meeting people where they are, without judgment, is critical to creating safe spaces.

In New York, Overdose Prevention Centers were opened last November in two neighborhoods and they reversed 565 overdoses in 43,904 visits. That’s 565 lives saved.

In 2021, 1,276 people died from drug overdose in Philadelphia. The recently released Substance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction division’s annual report detailed that non-Hispanic Black Philadelphians experienced the highest increase in reported overdose deaths compared to other racial and ethnic groups and more deaths from overdoses than non-Hispanic White Philadelphians.

The overdose crisis has steadily gotten worse over the past few years and it’s clear that our current scope of services is not enough. We need additional methods to prevent more overdose deaths and provide care and services to people who use drugs.

We, the signers of this petition, call on Mayor Kenney and City Council to support the opening of Overdose Prevention Centers in Philadelphia to provide safe, compassionate spaces for people who use drugs to get the care and services they need and prevent more overdose deaths in Philadelphia.