Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Johanna Kichton,

Press Release

People's Action Institute and Data for Progress Unveil New Poll Showing Bipartisan Support for Harm Reduction Policies

Poll Comes as White House Releases Drug Control Plan That Centers Some Harm Reduction Tools While Bloating CBP Budget for Enforcement.

People’s Action Institute and Data for Progress today unveiled new research showing robust, bipartisan support for a variety of harm reduction measures like expanding use of medication-assisted treatment, increasing access to opioid overdose-reversal medication, opening overdose prevention centers, and decriminalizing possession of small amounts of drugs. The polling comes a day after the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released a conflicting drug control plan that centers some harm reduction tactics but increases criminalization through its enforcement. 

“This new polling shows that a world is possible in which every preventable overdose death is seen as a tragedy,” People’s Action Institute Drug Policy, Harm Reduction, and Criminal Justice Campaign Director Ellen Glover said. “That starts by listening to the overwhelming majority of people demanding evidence-based solutions, like passing the MAT Act. Saving lives is a bipartisan issue, and it’s time for Congress to start acting like it.”

“Across the country, in red states and blue states alike, communities and families have been devastated by the overdose crisis,” Data for Progress Polling Analyst Anika Dandekar said. “It is no surprise then that we find vast majorities of voters, across all backgrounds and parties, support life-saving policy solutions that treat substance use disorder first and foremost as a public health issue.”

Specifically, the new polling showed clear bipartisan support for harm reduction measures:

  • 79% of voters support expanding use of medication-assisted treatments; 

  • 80% of voters support for increasing access to naloxone, the drug that reverses opioid overdoses;

  • 64% support opening overdose prevention centers; and

  • 69% of voters support decriminalizing possession of small amounts of drugs.

“The point of harm reduction is to leave no person behind. This polling is proof that voters across the political spectrum buy into that principle” VOCAL-NY Users Union Leader Asia Betancourt said. “It’s time we move forward and save lives.”

“I am alive today and helping my community in Ohio thanks to harm reduction tools like naloxone,” River Valley Organizing Civic Engagement Organizer Thomas Powell said. “This new data shows what those of us on the ground in our communities have known all along–that we want to see our neighbors stay alive. We need harm reduction to do that.”

Preventable overdose deaths are breaking records. Over 106,000 people died in the past year, up nearly 16 percent from the previous year. The polling data is encouraging for advocates and lawmakers as the ​​Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act is held up, despite having bipartisan support in the House and Senate. The MAT Act would remove redundant and outdated barriers for healthcare practitioners to prescribe life-saving medicines, like buprenorphine which is a form of medication-assisted treatment.

The new polling data may be found here.


Data for Progress is a multidisciplinary group of experts using state-of-the-art techniques in data science to support progressive activists and causes.

Bodycam Footage Shows Ohio Police Shooting Jayland Walker 60+ Times

"The Department of Justice needs to step in to investigate immediately," said former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner.

Common Dreams staff ·

'Impeach Justice Clarence Thomas' Petition Nears 1 Million Signatures

"He has shown he cannot be an impartial justice and is more concerned with covering up his wife's coup attempts than the health of the Supreme Court," reads the petition.

Jake Johnson ·

'Tipping Point of No Return' Feared as Amazon Rainforest Fires Surge

"Up to now, the Biden administration has only legitimized the Brazilian government's anti-Indigenous and anti-environmental agenda," said Greenpeace USA.

Jake Johnson ·

Biden Urged to Embrace Windfall Tax as Exxon Says Profits Doubled in Second Quarter

"It's time for the president to demand that Congress pass a windfall profits tax on Big Oil and use the revenue to provide rebates to consumers NOW!" wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Jake Johnson ·

Texas Supreme Court Allows Century-Old Abortion Ban to Take Effect

"Extremist politicians are on a crusade to force Texans into pregnancy and childbirth against their will, no matter how devastating the consequences."

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo