Rhode Island lawmakers have approved the extension of a pilot program allowing harm reduction centers to operate statewide. Originally expected to end on March 1, 2024, Governor Dan McKee will now extend the program through March 1, 2026. Rhode Island was the first state in the nation to authorise the harm reduction centers, signed off by McKee in July 2021. However, New York opened the first centre last year. Critics have argued that the facilities encourage drug use, but advocates believe that harm reduction centers can help those struggling with addiction. Rep. John Edwards believes that harm reduction centers “mitigate the chance of overdose” and can “tackle this epidemic while saving lives in the process.” The program requires all centers to receive city or town approval prior to opening. The state has been accepting applications for proposed safe injection sites since March 2022.