BUZZ FEED NEWS-New York City's New Overdose Prevention Centers Have Already Saved Lives. The Biden Administration Should Get On Board.
We are New York district attorneys and health officials. Here’s why New York City is opening sites for people to safely use drugs.
Darcel ClarkBronx District AttorneyCy VanceManhattan District AttorneyEric GonzalezBrooklyn District AttorneyDave A. ChokshiNYC Health CommissionerMelinda KatzQueens District AttorneyPosted on December 15, 2021, at 12:04 p.m. ET
Two weeks ago, New York City became the first city in the nation to open two overdose prevention centers, located in Manhattan. Already, 25 overdoses have been averted — 25 people who are alive today thanks to these centers. Now we are calling on the Biden administration to formally authorize overdose prevention centers in the US.
Overdose prevention centers are supervised, hygienic spaces for people who use drugs to do so safely, while also providing harm reduction, physical health, and behavioral health services.
Every neighborhood in every community has experienced the tragedy of the overdose epidemic. Nationally, over 100,000 Americans died of an overdose between April 2020 to April 2021. In New York City, 2,062 people died of an overdose in 2020, the highest number of deaths since reporting began 20 years ago. The spread of fentanyl — a dangerous, synthetic opioid 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine and the primary driver of the rise in overdoses — exponentially increases the need for even more overdose prevention innovation.
Thirty years of research conducted across 100 sites on three continents has demonstrated the efficacy of overdose prevention centers. There has never been a single overdose death at any site. Participants are provided with basic human needs day after day: a smile, a sandwich, or a shower. Over time, trust is built between participants and clinical staff, which leads to participants beginning substance use disorder treatment and referrals to healthcare and other social services.
In addition, research shows overdose prevention centers reduce public drug use, syringe litter, and drug-related crime in surrounding neighborhoods. They can also function as safe havens for women who use drugs, reducing violence against women associated with street-based substance use.
We believe the overdose prevention centers in New York City will be a model for other cities to follow.
Biden recently embraced harm reduction, becoming the first president to include it in his drug policy priorities.
In another first, Congress appropriated $30 million in the American Rescue Plan to be provided to state, local, and tribal governments and organizations for overdose prevention and harm reduction services.
TO CONTINUE: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/dadarcelclark/new-york-overdose-prevention-centers?fbclid=IwAR0hZB_TZea_5_Xreys1HYn2vX2abltVm-AYdQgPPZ8iIzSIOyYC3ZquVBE