On Tuesday, New York City grew to become the primary within the nation to open two overdose prevention facilities (OPC) the place folks can use illicit medicine and obtain medical care and companies.
What are OPCs?
Overdose prevention facilities are protected areas for folks to devour pre-obtained medicine in managed settings below the supervision of educated employees and with entry to sterile consumption gear, instruments to examine their provide for the presence of fentanyl, and connections to well being care, counseling, and referrals to well being and social companies, together with drug therapy.
As such, these hurt discount companies will play an vital position in serving to to curb the drug overdose disaster plaguing New York City and the United States.
According to new information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New York City’s drug-overdose deaths surged 36%.
Drug Overdose Deaths Across U.S. Top 100,000 Annually
CDC provisional overdose information confirmed there have been an estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths within the U.S. throughout the 12-month interval ending in April 2021, a rise of 28.5% from the earlier yr.
While cities like Philadelphia and San Francisco didn’t handle to open OPCs as a consequence of authorized and political challenges, New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio revived the long-stalled plan.
“New York City has led the nation’s battle against COVID-19, and the fight to keep our community safe doesn’t stop there,” de Blasio stated in a press launch.
Located at current services that present syringe alternate companies, OPCs are “a safe and effective way to address the opioid crisis,” stated de Blasio, who has simply 4 weeks left in workplace.
The Drug Policy Alliance, since 2015, was on the forefront of advocating for OPCs as a crucial part of curbing the overdose disaster. The first statewide invoice for OPCs in New York was launched in 2018 and accepted by Mayor de Blasio, the NYC Council and NYC’s Dept. Health and Mental Hygiene.
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“Despite the obstacles, we kept up the pressure along with our coalition through consistent organizing, educating and lobbying,” the DPA wrote in an e mail to Benzinga.
“Studies from other countries have shown that these centers greatly reduce the number of overdose deaths. Despite overwhelming evidence of the benefits of OPCs and more than 120 operating around the world, none have existed in the U.S. due to legal barriers and misguided drug war hysteria.”
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Meanwhile, although it stays to be seen how the U.S. Justice Department will method the problem, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra just lately revealed the Biden administration’s four-part technique to cope with the overdose epidemic, which may embrace permitting supervised consumption websites, reported The Washington Post.
“When it comes to harm reduction, we are looking for every way to do that,” Becerra stated earlier. “We probably will support the efforts of states that are using evidence-based practices and therapies.”