At this moment, D.C. faces an overdose crisis. Nearly 600 Washingtonians died from accidental overdose deaths in 2021 alone. The overdose mortality rate among Black Washingtonians is the highest in the country and is nearly 10 times higher than the white overdose mortality rate in D.C. In DC, there is no meaningful difference in drug use between Ward 3 and Wards 7 and 8. But there is a drastically different police response as Black and Latinx people are far more likely than White people to be stopped, searched, arrested, convicted, harshly sentenced, and straddled with a lifelong criminal record. This tragic racial disparity shows that we are in a state of emergency that requires an urgent, systemic change to how the District addresses drug use and addiction.
It is far past time to frame our response to drug use through a healthcare lens, rather than a criminal justice lens. Join us Tuesday, October 24 at 7-8:30 pm for a vital discussion on how can we, especially as people of faith, respond to the overdose crisis in our country and city.