Vital Strategies Applauds NYC Support for Overdose Prevention Centers, A Critical Component of the Overdose Crisis Response
New York City has been home to two Overdose Prevention Centers since OnPoint launched the sites in November 2021. These two centers are the first Overdose Prevention Centers to operate above ground in the United States and have reversed more than 1,000 overdoses in the less than two years since they opened. The centers have received consistent mayoral support over two administrations as a critical component of the overdose crisis response. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that, despite these successes, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York is considering federal enforcement action against the programs, making their future uncertain.
Statement from Daliah Heller, Vital Strategies, Vice President of Drug Use Initiatives:
“New York City, like the rest of the country, is in the midst of the worst overdose crisis in its history. More than 100,000 people across the country lost their lives to overdose in each of the past two years, and it continues to be the leading cause of death for people under 50. OnPoint has done heroic work in implementing and operating two Overdose Prevention Centers to provide safe, supervised spaces for people to use drugs, with medical assistance on hand. They have intervened in more than 1,000 overdoses and hosted innumerable public officials and community leaders to showcase their sites and learn about their comprehensive approach to improve the health and safety of New Yorkers.
“OnPoint confirms what has been demonstrated for more than two decades in many other countries around the world: overdose prevention centers are a critical component of the public health strategy to reduce deaths, prevent disease, and engage people who are using drugs with care and support. We applaud OnPoint for their vision and leadership, and the Adams administration for their continued support of these crucial lifesaving services.”
Contact: Tony Newman, Vital Strategies: 646-335-5384: TNewman@VitalStrategies.org