Originally approved October 2023
The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) supports local, state, and federal efforts to legalize, fund, research, and evaluate overdose prevention centers (OPCs).
ACEP recognizes that substance use disorders are chronic medical conditions, but access to effective evidence-based treatments has been lacking. ACEP further recognizes that community organizations have historically addressed this healthcare gap through harm reduction, which uses practical strategies to respect individual choices while minimizing the negative consequences associated with drug use. ACEP appreciates that OPCs build upon this work and acknowledges the decades of research demonstrating their efficacy in reducing infectious disease transmission, improving service and treatment engagement, preserving community medical and financial resources, and, most importantly, saving lives. ACEP further recognizes that OPCs have not been fully evaluated on the individual and public health levels.
ACEP believes that OPCs should be authorized to operate as legally sanctioned healthcare facilities, have a sustainable structure for service reimbursement, and protect those who seek or provide care from municipal, state, and federal laws related to drug possession, paraphernalia, and maintaining drug-involved premises for their professional services.
ACEP supports further research that: