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February 15 , 2023



What Do You Think About Mobile Vans?

Columbia University wants to hear from you and get your thoughts on using mobile vans to reach injection drug users.  

Columbia's mobile medical van (pictured below at 123rd Street and Lenox Avenue) is part of an NIH-funded study that seeks to learn whether provision of integrated substance use and medical care from a mobile van is more successful in engaging out of care injection drug users in care than offering standard of care services in the community. This project has been in the field for more than a year at this point and has enrolled ~ 70 participants in the study.

123 Street and Lenox Ave.

In addition to providing care, Columbia is evaluating the impact of the mobile medical approach. Currently, they are conducting interviews of both clients and community stakeholders. These interviews seek honest feedback. The interviews are an important component of the research. Hence, they are audio recorded, de-identified and analyzed as part of the evaluation of the mobile healthcare approach.

We would be delighted to get input from GHC members.
If you are interested in more information or in possibly participating in an interview, please contact Julie Franks who is conducting this part of the evaluation.

Julie Franks - [email protected]

ICAP at Columbia University

Schedule an interview on your thoughts on mobile vans, HERE


Substance Use Bills Moving through the New York State Senate

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As New York State readies itself to spend billions of dollars in opioid settlement funds, a number of bills advanced this week in a key state Senate panel. It is important to note that Democratic State Sen. Nathalia Fernandez, who now leads the Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, is a strong backer of these bills -- three of which are highlighted below:

  • Facilities that provide substance abuse disorder treatment would have to have at least one practitioner qualified to administer or prescribe buprenorphine
  • Hospitals would be required to refer people to service providers for substance abuse problems when relevant
  • Create a certified recovery task force that would create best practice rules for certified recovery living residences to support people recovering from chemical dependency.

The Greater Harlem Coalition is enthusiastic about all three of these proposals.  Increasing equitable access to quality care is a key goal for our coalition.  Supporting people afflicted by substance use disorder in their communities - and not shunting them to communities of color -- has to be a central pillar for opioid treatment success.


2022 Data From New York's Department of Health

Deaths in New York City's unhoused population, related to illegal drug use

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48% of all deaths in New York City's unhoused population is attributed to drug overdosing. 

Other causes of, location of, and details regarding unhoused deaths in 2022 are below:

• Among all unhoused decedents, most people -- 74% died in a hospital.  11% died outdoors and 15% died in "other locations" (not outdoors or in a hospital)

• Drug-related deaths remained the leading cause of death among persons experiencing homelessness -- 48% consistent with citywide and national trends

• In FY22, only 1% of deaths were COVID-19 confirmed or probable

• Deaths due to alcohol misuse/dependence dropped to 3% in total
 as did deaths due to heart disease, dropping to 9%


What to do when you witness illegal drug dealing

If you see a drug deal occurring, move to a place of safety in order to report it.

Reporting every such incident is important not only to create a record in the city's database but also to drive support and resources to our community.

The link below (remember to bookmark it) will allow you to anonymously report the use of illegal drugs -- or you can simply call 311.

Click HERE to text a report to 311

Remember:  Call 911 to report in-progress use or sale (dealing) of illegal drugs currently in progress, and individuals in distress.

If you don't report it, it didn't happen

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