NYC to Open Supervised Injection Sites to Avoid Overdoses, After Years of Setbacks, Report Says
New York City will become the first city in the country to give the green light to two supervised drug injection sites in Manhattan, the New York Times reported Tuesday, after a record number of people died of drug overdoses during the pandemic.
Users can bring their substances to sites in East Harlem and Washington Heights in Manhattan that already offer clean syringes, the Times reported.
When consuming in institutions, people can undergo drug addiction treatment and, if necessary, overdose treatment.
The program, first suggested by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2018, had been stalled due to controversy over providing a place where people can openly inject themselves with illegal drugs and fears the city would be subject to federal prosecution, Politics reported.
The clearance comes as de Blasio is considering running for governor of New York next year.
Dr Dave A. Chokshi, the New York City health commissioner, told the Times: âWe feel a deep conviction and also a sense of urgency to open overdose prevention centers. ”
100,306. This is the number of drug overdose deaths in the United States between April 2020 and April 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was the first time that drug overdose deaths have exceeded 100,000. More than 75,000 of the deaths have been caused by opioids, according to the CDC.
De Blasio, pushing the agenda during his last few weeks in office, reportedly told vendors law enforcement would not take action against them, according to Times. Mayor-elect Eric Adams had noted during a municipal forum that he supported the centers. San Francisco, Boston and Philadelphia are also working to open similar facilities.
Under federal law, supervised injection sites are illegal. In 2018, the Justice Department of former President Donald Trump for follow-up a nonprofit organization that was ready to open a facility in Philadelphia. In October, the Supreme Court of the United States decreases to take over a case involving Safehouse’s nonprofit plan for a supervised injection site in that state.
Supervised injection sites open for drug addicts in New York (New York Times)
US sets record for drug overdose deaths – these three states have seen the largest increases (Forbes)