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January 18, 2022



Addiction and Homeless Activists Gather in Seattle

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Earlier in January, a meeting was called to gather community activists, recovery advocates, program providers, government officials, and not-for-profits in Seattle, WA.  The goal of this gathering was to create a North American advocacy coalition focusing on solutions and strategies to address the mental health, addiction, and homeless crises in the United States and Canada.

Over three days, 45 delegates from Texas to Vancouver, and Los Angeles to New York agreed to form a coalition that focuses on compassionate, integrated, and recovery focused solutions that center long-term success at every stage in the path to wellness.

We believe in the inherent worth, dignity, and unique purpose of every human being, including the hundreds of thousands suffering from addiction and experiencing untreated mental illness on the streets of America. Our goal as a society should be to help individuals realize their full human potential.

    The groups that attended agreed that the personal, regional, and international dimensions of this crisis, demands immediate action.  Attendee after attendee reported on how communities with integrated, supportive paths focused on the whole person, succeeded.  

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    The Greater Harlem Coalition was in attendance as a founding member and looks forward to working with this north American coalition to bring compassionate strategies to our city, our country, and beyond.

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    Vancouver's Numerous Supervised Injection Sites Fail to Stem the Overdose Epidemic Surge

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    Vancouver's supervised injection sites first appeared in 2003 and while repeatedly touted as having reversed in-house overdoses, they have failed to stem the shocking rise in overdose deaths in Vancouver.

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    The neighboring province east of Vancouver - Alberta - has also opened overdose prevention sites, but has carefully regulated these programs and positioned them in a comprehensive integrated path supporting the patient's journey towards the goal of recovery.  


    The result?  

    Opioid-related deaths in Alberta have decreased in 2022 

    Given that opioid-related deaths in Alberta decreased in 2022, why does New York City base its supervised injection site on the failed Vancouver model?

    Unlike New York City's approach, Alberta has: 


    To learn more about Alberta's successful model click HERE


    As Expected, The News Is Not Good

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    • Rates of overdose death increased the most among residents of the Bronx followed by residents of Brooklyn, then Manhattan, Staten Island, and Queens
    • The neighborhoods with the highest rates of overdose death were Hunts Point-Mott Haven, Crotona-Tremont, and Highbridge-Morrisania in the Bronx
    • The largest overdose mortality increases occurred among older New Yorkers, Black New Yorkers, residents of the Bronx, and residents of very high poverty neighborhoods

    Fentanyl was the most common substance involved in overdose deaths (80%), followed by cocaine (47%), alcohol (39%), and heroin (37%).

    • Black New Yorkers had the highest rate of cocaine-involved overdose death
    • The rate of overdose death among male New Yorkers was over three times as high as the rate among female New Yorkers
    Get the full dataset HERE
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