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February 14, 2024



Take-Home Methadone is Safe and Effective

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A Columbia University study finds that take-home methadone, a key COVID-era policy change, is as safe and effective as clinic-dispensed doses, potentially paving the way for wider access to this life-saving opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment.

Published in Lancet Regional Health Americas, the study compared patients receiving pre- and post-pandemic methadone regimens. Both groups showed similar rates of treatment retention, adverse events, and drug use. 

"This is the first U.S. study with electronic health records data and a control group, offering valuable insights for policymakers," said lead author Dr. Arthur Robin Williams. "Wider take-home access could help close the OUD treatment gap and save lives."


  • Over 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, with opioids leading the way. 
  • Methadone is considered the gold standard for OUD treatment, yet only a fraction of those needing methadone receive it.
  • Before COVID, strict regulations required patients to take methadone at government-approved clinics.
  • Researchers tracked 1,200 patients entering methadone programs in 2019 and 2020.  The 2020 group benefited from pandemic-era policies allowing for increased take-home doses. Both groups were compared for treatment adherence, adverse events, and drug use.


  • No significant differences were found between groups in terms of treatment retention, adverse events, or drug use.
  • Many clinics underutilized the expanded take-home options.


  • Take-home methadone appears safe and effective, potentially improving access to this crucial OUD treatment.
  • Policymakers should consider permanently expanding take-home options to combat the opioid crisis.
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This study adds valuable evidence to the ongoing debate about reforming OUD treatment access. Its findings could inform policies that save lives by making this life-saving treatment more readily available.

Read the Columbia Press Release, HERE


New Opioid Settlement Funds to Target Staten Island

Mayor Adams announced in December that an additional $12 million to combat the opioid epidemic have been secured by Attorney General James from settlements reached in her numerous lawsuits against different manufacturers and distributors of opioids. The funds will go exclusively to Staten Island-based organizations that provide a range of intervention services, including treatment, outreach, and harm reduction, as well as to housing and employment assistance. Over the coming months, the city will work closely with stakeholders and local leaders to ensure funds are distributed fairly, equitably, and efficiently to organizations across the borough, delivering on Mayor Adams’ promise to help Staten Island residents combat the opioid epidemic.

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No Increase.  No Decrease.

The November release of a study examining crime rates near New York's two controversial supervised injection sites failed to show a statistically significant increase or decrease in crime nearby.  And while crime hasn't gone up or down, drug use and overdose deaths in East Harlem and Harlem have tragically increased.  

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While many had hoped that injection sites would decrease crime, reduce drug use, and stem the dramatic growth in overdose deaths, the data failed to back harm reduction claims and predictions.

While comparing crime near OnPoint's two program to crime near other harm reduction sites, the study did not account for the extra staffing costs incurred by the NYPD to add extra patrols in the immediate vicinity of OnPoint's injection sites.

Extra policing for crime suppression efforts near OnPoint have not been factored into the conversation regarding criminal activity near New York's supervised injection sites 



The Central and East Harlem Seats Are Up For Grabs

The race is on for New York State Assembly with the Democratic primary coming in June.

The Greater Harlem Coalition will be hosting two forums, one for East Harlem (the 68th District) on Tuesday, April 30th, and another for Central Harlem (the 70th District) on Wednesday, May 1st.

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