͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ 
Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Greater Harlem Coalition Logo

May 24, 2023



Heroin in Harlem - 1975

In 1975 Geraldo went to Harlem and East Harlem to look at the devastation caused by heroin use. His report shows the consequence of years of disinvestment, planned shrinkage, white flight, and insurance arson - all combined with opioid drug use.

Image description

You can see the Metro North elevated tracks (Park Avenue) in a few of the interviews but what is most fascinating is how much more expensive heroin was in 1975. Today, users are able to purchase heroin and/or fentanyl for around $10.



NYC Has A Fatal Drug Overdose Every 3 Hours

The New York Times reports on the rapid rise in overdose deaths despite New York's increased reliance on harm reduction strategies and providers.

The rising tide of death that began during the pandemic is now the "new normal" for the New York City medical examiner's office.  The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner noted that Monday are almost always the office's busiest day of the week in terms of overdose deaths.

"We were anticipating that as the pandemic waned, our cases would fall back to sort of a prepandemic equilibrium, but they really haven't"

By far, the largest factor in the increased work at the medical examiner's office -- which investigates all the city's sudden, unusual and suspicious deaths -- is a sustained jump in accidental drug overdoses - mostly from the opioid fentanyl.

There were nearly 2,700 drug overdose deaths in the city in 2021, the highest total in at least two decades, and 2022's official toll is expected to be even higher. On average, the city has a fatal drug overdose death every three hours. 

While official numbers are still pending, Dr. Graham said, December 2022 will most likely be the worst single month on record.

Every overdose victim in the city ends up at the medical examiner, where samples of tissues and blood are carefully extracted, then distilled into glass vials and stacked into trays dozens deep. Long after the bodies are released to family members, toxicologists do the work of figuring out exactly what killed them. Victims can be found with needles still in their arms, a once-rare phenomenon that is a sign of how quickly fentanyl can kill, Dr. Graham said. Family members sometimes say they didn't know to intervene, because they mistook the labored breathing of an overdose for snoring.

At least 815 homeless New Yorkers died in public spaces, shelters and hospitals during the 2022 fiscal year, the most on record, according to city data. Almost 600 of those deaths wound up in the medical examiner's office, which ruled 330 of them overdoses.


Crisis In The Bronx

Image description


NYC's Department of Health Wants to Add More

New York City looks to continue handing out more syringes, creating mental health clubhouses, and opening more supervised injection sites in low-income communities of color.

Image description

"Vasan said the city remains supportive of overdose prevention centers, also known as supervised injection sites, but needs the state or federal government to legally authorize them so more can open."

The clubhouse idea - a refuge for people with severe mental illness - would see a tripling of funding, and the city would also invest in a virtual mental health care platform for teens.

At the moment, no injection sites are planned for majority white neighborhoods and the euphamism used in the Department of Health and Mayoral press conference was that injection sites would be located "in neighborhoods like the South Bronx and upper Manhattan."  Clearly implying that DoHMH will continue to target redlined communities.

If you want to unsubscribe, click here.