People dying from drug overdoses are growing at an alarming rate, especially in New York City.
There's been a dramatic increase since the pandemic in 2020. As reported on
last year, over 2,000 individuals died from an overdose. It hasn't been that high since 2000.
To help combat the issue, New York is the first state to launch supervised drug injection sites in NYC.
The city launched a "harm reduction" strategy designed to "reduce an unprecedented surge of overdose deaths,"
reports. Mayor Bill de Blasio backs the program and made the announcement today (November 30). He said,
"Overdose Prevention Centers are a safe and effective way to address the opioid crisis. I'm proud to show cities in this country that after decades of failure, a smarter approach is possible."
The overdose prevention center (OPC) services are safe places where people who use drugs can get clean needles and medical care. They also offer addiction treatment, and individuals can get connected to social services. The OPCs will serve as an extension of existing services.
N.Y. Times report the injection sites will be in
near East Harlem and Washington Heights. It will be operated by a new nonprofit group called OnPoint NYC, formed by two organizations focused on harm reduction NPR reports. The article also points out operating could begin as soon as today. Other states like Philadelphia took steps to do the same thing, but it got backlash from lawmakers and people in the area.
NPR also reports OPC's could save up to 130 lives a year, according to a study conducted by the