NYC’s Overdose Prevention Centers Prove Effective

NYC’s Overdose Prevention Centers Prove Effective
High Times

A new study published this month has found that New York City’s historic safe consumption centers have helped reduce overdoses. The study, conducted by researchers affiliated with the NYC Department of Health (which oversees the sites), covered the two months of the program across two different consumption sites. Last November, then-New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced “that the first publicly recognized Overdose Prevention Center (OPC) services in the nation have commenced in New York City.” OPCs, the city explained in the announcement, “are safe places where people who use drugs can receive medical care and be connected to treatment and social services.” NYC officials touted their effectiveness, saying in the press release at the time that such services are “proven to prevent overdose deaths, and are in use in jurisdictions around the world,” and that there “has never been an overdose death in any OPC.” A study from the city’s Department of Health found that “OPCs in New York City would save up to 130 lives a year.” “New York City has led the nation’s battle against COVID-19, and the fight to keep our community safe doesn’t stop there. After exhaustive study, we know the right path forward to protect the most vulnerable people in our city. And we will not hesitate to take it,” de Blasio said in the announcement. “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 study published this month may be seen as vindication for the advocates of the program. “During the first 2 months of OPC operation, trained staff responded 125 times to mitigate overdose risk. In response to opioid-involved symptoms of overdose, naloxone was administered 19 times and…

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