"But the OnPointNYC sites require far more scrutiny. Credit to CBS2 New York reporter Jessi Mitchell for pressing OnPointNYC executive director Sam Rivera on exactly this point last week. “How are you tracking the actual reduction of drug use?” he asked. Rivera’s response revealed how limited the evaluation of the site has been so far. “That’s difficult. It really is. It’s a challenge. So for us, it’s anecdotal,” he said. That’s simply not good enough for what advocates are touting as a potential nationwide model.
A serious evaluation of the program would include figures on drug use and overdoses in the immediate area and citywide, since the sites signal to the community that drug use is tolerated. We would need to follow the lives of all those who use the site: 1,700 over the past year. How many have quit drugs? Gotten jobs? Do they pay child support? If we really want to know whether such sites “work,” we would need to gather as much personal information as possible on the drug users who frequent them."