US’s First Safe Drug Consumption Sites Are Already Saving Lives By Stopping Dozens Of Overdoses In Less Than A Month, NYC Officials Say

MJ moment

New York City officials say the nation’s first sanctioned safe consumption sites for illegal drugs have already saved dozens of lives since they launched late last month. Meanwhile, there are new positive signs for advocates in a pending federal court case on the harm reduction measure. In New York, the overdose prevention centers—where people can use currently illicit drugs in a medically supervised environment where they can receive treatment resources—have averted at least 59 overdoses and been utilized more than 2,000 times, the New York City Health Department announced on Tuesday. The initial results are “promising” and show how the facilities “reduce needless suffering and avoidable death,” Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said in a press release. “The simple truth is that Overdose Prevention Centers save lives—the lives of our neighbors, family and loved ones.” Advocates have long argued that safe consumption sites could help combat the nation’s overdose epidemic while simultaneously destigmatizing substance misuse disorders and giving people the tools they need to enter treatment. “We are meeting people who use drugs where they are in their life journey to support them in building their self-worth,” said Sam Rivera, executive director of OnPoint NYC, which is providing the services. “In celebrating life, we are humanizing people often not treated as human.” “We are honored to be doing this important work and look forward to more OPC's opening up around the country soon." – Our ED, @samrivera1111 https://t.co/bLedgZvczo — NYHRE (@NYHarmReduction) December 21, 2021 Also, on Monday, the New York City Board of Health unanimously approved a resolution that touts evidence supporting the efficacy of a harm reduction approach to drug use and endorses the city’s move to authorize safe consumption sites. It also urges “the federal government and New York State provide authorization of such overdose prevention centers and continue…

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