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November 30, 2022



The Nation's First Safe Injection Site Opened in Harlem One Year Ago


Harlem Has Experienced an Increase in Street Drug Use Since the Opening of the Safe Injection Site

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The dealers selling directly front of the safe injection site also sell to people who commute into Harlem, walk a block or two away, and then use on residential streets during the safe injection site's open hours


Funded and Perpetuated by NYC's Department of Health

Harlem would appreciate hearing from the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on how they explain the graph below as anything other than an experimental addiction project exemplifying Medical Redlining?

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Ask the Dept. of Health Why They Practice Medical Redlining


One Year of Reporting on Harlem's Injection Site


Why Was the Nation's First Injection Site Located in East Harlem?

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While the Department of Health and OnPoint repeatedly argue that their decision to locate the nation's first injection site in East Harlem was based on data, the data (above) from NYC's Bureau of Vital Statistics shows how other communities have significantly more unintentional drug deaths (overdoses) than our community.

See the Data


European Successes  

The public health journal BMC has a fascinating paper: What Have European Cities Done To Address the Opioid Crisis and the Issue of Treatment Oversaturation? that shows how important it is for cities to develop a comprehensive policy that integrates and coordinates treatment (medication for addiction) and helping measures (counseling and therapy) along with control (policing) measures.  

In other words, criminalization did not work, but nor did unfettered decriminalization.  Supervised consumption, effective treatment options, and policed controls (drug courts) limiting where drugs can be consumed, succeeded.  

BMC Public Health

The cities applied a range of harm reduction measures combined with systematic control strategies in order to tackle the problems. None of the cities succeeded by treatment and medical and social support measures alone. Provision of increased helping measures alone seems to have been unsuccessful and when provided within the open drug scenes, may even have increased their attraction. Equally, the provision of repressive methods alone has not been successful, even when an increase in control measures was combined with crisis intervention and coercive interventions. Only when the cities developed a comprehensive policy that integrated and coordinated treatment and helping measures with control measure were they able to successfully alleviate their situation. It might seem that the all have met the precondition of overcoming the controversy between prohibitionist and harm reduction ideologies.

The comprehensive and integrated policies share certain core features. One is that problematic substance use and dependence are defined as health care problems. At the same time, drug taking is seen as a social behaviour that is subject to ordinary social rules. The user has no right to be of nuisance to others, but the user has the same inborn right to integration in society and the same set of individual rights as others in the general population. Social stigmatization and isolation should be avoided. It is also accepted that mental health problems are often a key feature of problematic drug use and that these conditions should be diagnosed and treated effectively. Nevertheless, problematic behaviour should be controlled and prevented, and relevant measures have to be shared across different professions and service systems. Therefore shared responsibility should be accepted with a commitment to cooperation between the police, the social services and the health care services. This commitment has to be binding and anchored at a high political level.

Underlying these measures has been a basic acceptance of drug users including those who have been unable or unwilling to stop the use of illegal drugs, but this was combined with a policy not to permit the continuation of destructive behaviour in terms of public nuisance. The cities established policies of “no tolerance” for public nuisance but nevertheless developed appeasement, and found approaches to “coexistence” between society and users of illegal substances. This helped to end unfruitful controversies between liberal and conservative ideologies and policies.

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