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May 17 , 2023



GHC CoFounder Calls for Equity and Compassion

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CBS News New York produced a piece on the oversaturation of Harlem, and the call for compassionate and integrated responses to the addiction crisis. Harlem's parks (Marcus Garvey Park in particular) were highlighted as was the danger to children who play in parks with needle waste.

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Federal Government Commits $5 Million to Examine the Efficacy and Impact of Supervised Injection Sites

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The American medical community has a long history of experimenting on communities of color.  OnPoint's supervised injection site is another in a long line of programs that have been tested in communities of color before being located in wealthier and/or whiter neighborhoods.  Only now, well over a year after OnPoint opened their doors to address New York City's overdose epidemic will the efficacy of this site on health and community outcomes be studied.

East Harlem was selected to serve as an experimental harm reduction site.  

NYU's Professor Magdalena Cerdá (Langone Department of Population Health) who is the lead investigator of this planned study, noted that they will examine supervised injection sites in New York as well as in Rhode Island.  In addition, the researchers will collect data on the facilities’ operational costs, their impact on surrounding communities and the estimated savings to the health care and criminal justice systems.

The Greater Harlem Coalition is cautiously supportive of this $5,000,000 study while concerned about how thoroughly community impact will be assessed.

Community Questions:

  • If 1,000 OPC users will be enrolled in the study, how many community residents will be engaged?
  • Will the community impact on community businesses and economic vitality be included?
  • Will the narcotic marketplace that swirls around OnPoint's facilities be examined?
  • Will the impact of open-air drug sales and use in nearby blocks on community residents and visitors, be studied?

Whether or not it a supervised injection site actually works without harming the surrounding the community, is only now going to be examined

Researchers are looking to enroll 1,000 users older than 18 who have visited such a site, NYU Langone said in a statement. They will examine how the sites affect overdoses, calculate the cost of such intervention and estimate how much money the practice would save the health care and criminal justice systems.


Fentanyl & Other Opioids Involved in Overdose Deaths

In 2021, Fentanyl was involved in 80% of all NYC overdose deaths.  

Methadone was involved in 13% of all NYC's overdose deaths.

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Stanford University Looks Abroad for Perspective

Despite being one of the largest consumers of opioids in the world, Germany has relatively low overdose rates, and this has been attributed to the fact that opioids are primarily prescribed in-hospital and in other 24-hour care settings.

Opioids prescribed by medical practitioners are relatively low risk. The majority of people who are prescribed opioids use them for their intended purpose, and benefit from the resulting pain relief; however, the opioid crisis in the USA had its origins in the over-prescribing of regulated opioid treatments. 

The lower the threshold for opioid prescriptions, the greater the risk for the recipient and those around them.

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