To the Editor:
Re "One Year Inside a Radical New Approach to America's Overdose Crisis," by Jeneen Interlandi (Opinion, Feb. 26):
The safe injection site approach, and other harm reduction services, may work as intended when facilities are not hyper-concentrated in a few neighborhoods like Harlem.
If you don't address the hyper-concentration of facilities and the very complex historical factors causing "medical redlining" -- siting facilities based on race, economic status and lesser local capacity to oppose services like methadone clinics and addiction services -- your journalism won't help move the needle to get these facilities placed in regions like Staten Island and Queens that reject them but need them.
At worst, your coverage will get elected officials, or private donors, to release more money for more addiction facilities in Harlem. Non-addicted Harlem residents are being strained to the breaking point under the weight of the services and from people traveling to Harlem from outside ZIP codes already.
For example, three Harlem Village Academy schools on my block of West 124th Street, with more than 96 percent Black and brown students, are located less than a block away from three methadone clinics that bring hundreds of addicted people to their block daily from as far away as Staten Island.
Over-concentration only benefits drug dealers and causes an increase in harm both to vulnerable users, as dealers descend on the concentration of addicted people in Harlem in predatory fashion, and to the non-addicted local residents.