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January 10, 2024



Violent Aggravated Felony Assaults Increase Near OnPoint's Two Locations

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A recent study on crime patterns near OnPoint's two New York city sites in the journal JAMA notes that levels of crime near OnPoint were consistent with crime levels near other harm reduction sites (such as needle exchange locations).  

One, major crime category did, however, see a disturbing increase: violent aggravated assaults.  The study noted:

“There is evidence of a comparative 30.4% increase in aggravated assaults, offset by a 19.7% decrease in simple assaults.”

While the study noted a decrease in lower-level, less violent assault (-19%), for Harlem and Washington Heights residents, any increase - let alone a 30% increase - in violent assault, is profoundly disturbing especially given that New York City has spent millions of dollars on increased NYPD presence in the area.


NYC and National Overdosing Trends

First, the chart of New York's overdose death rate:

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And now, the chart of the United States' overdose death rate:

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Note how New York City was actually tracking a more positive route and maintaining or reducing overdose deaths - certainly relative to the relentless climb in the US as a whole - until 2016.  NYC did, however, see "Wave 2" (the rise in heroin overdose deaths) and then 'Wave 3' (the rise in synthetic opioid overdose deaths) that paralleled the experience of the nation as a whole.

In Progressive Portland Addicts Plead for Drugs to be Illegal

In November 2020 Portland voters decided to support Measure 110, the drug decriminalization initiative that permits personal amounts of all hard drugs, including fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamines. Portland is the first city in the U.S. to decriminalize the possession of personal amounts of all hard drugs.

The ballot measure sought to end the use of jail as a punishment for drug users and instead treat addiction as a health issue. It’s proven to be disastrous.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Statewide deaths are up 28 percent over the past year.

Street addicts, Utah with his wife Donna SAY the policy “made it worse. Don't get me wrong, it makes it better for us but getting the police off our backs and giving us free pipes and foil to do our drugs is not going to get us off the streets.'

Street addicts, Utah with his wife Donna, say Measure 110 made it worse “Don't get me wrong, it makes it better for us but getting the police off our backs and giving us free pipes and foil to do our drugs is not going to get us off the streets."

Reducing the number of accidental fatal overdoses from synthetic opioids was another major aim of Measure 110, but instead these have increased by 500 percent in the Portland area in the past four years — far more than in the rest of the U.S. Violent crime has similarly rocketed, with shootings rising from 413 in 2019 to 1,309 in 2022, leading to shops and businesses closing, and residents leaving. Homelessness has also increased: at the beginning of this year, it was up by 29 per cent on 2022 figures.

The situation in Portland is worsened by the decline in police numbers. Many officers responded to Defund The Police by leaving the department. Recruits haven’t been able to fully replace them. Police and sheriff’s departments across Oregon have repeatedly asked politicians to tighten laws and at least give them the power to arrest drug users — as a way to get them into treatment. At present officers can’t search addicts, let alone confiscate their drugs. Businesses have had to pay armed private security guards who don’t have the kind of training needed and no power to enforce laws.

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Polls show that a majority of Portland's 635,000 residents want to restore criminal penalties for drug possession, believing that Measure 110 has actually made the city's addiction, crime and homelessness problems worse.

The city council recently unanimously voted to ban open hard drug use, although the law must be ratified at state level.

There’s hope that destigmatization will saves lives. It’s compassionate. But deaths are up and no one is counting how many new users fill their space.

See the full article, HERE
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