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December 13 2023



More People Overdose in Manhattan than Manhattan Residents Who Overdose

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A significant percentage of people who overdose and die in Manhattan are not Manhattan residents.


An Abolitionist's Perspective

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Why we Oppose the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act (MOTAA.)

by Helen Redmond & Marilena Marchetti

We were honored to screen and have a conversation about Swallow THIS: a Documentary film that explored methadone during the period of COVID-19 with the Greater Harlem Coalition (GHC) on Saturday, October 14th, in Harlem.

At the screening, several people asked if there is legislation to reform methadone clinics. Yes, it is called the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act (MOTAA, HR 1359.) Reps. Donald Norcross (D-NJ) and Don Bacon (R-NE) are the bipartisan sponsors. The bill has been introduced in the US House of Representatives.

The MOTAA allows certain medical practitioners to prescribe methadone that is dispensed at a pharmacy, completely bypassing the brick-and-mortar clinic system. That sounds like a

significant change to the current system, but it is not.

We oppose the MOTAA for a number of reasons. The most important is the bill maintains racial disparities in access to medication for addiction. This is the cautionary tale of buprenorphine (another medication to treat opioid addiction.) Studies have shown for decades that buprenorphine, which can be prescribed by any health care provider and is picked up at the pharmacy, is overwhelmingly prescribed to white people. The MOTAA will do the exact same with methadone.

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We are abolitionists because we want people who take methadone to be free of the apartheid

clinic system that humiliates, punishes, and controls them. We made Swallow THIS to expose the many ways that OTPs oppress patients and to make the case for abolition.


The Mayo Clinic Discusses The Toll of Addiction-Based Violence on Nursing

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Workplace violence is a huge issue in health care. 74% of all nonfatal injuries from workplace violence in the country happened in health care in the most recently available data.

When you examine the contributing factors to violent events in emergency departments across the county, the top three factors are:

1. Drug seeking behavior

2. Intoxication

3. Withdrawl

As society, we tend to think about violence (especially violence in a hospital setting) as something to do with mental illness. Actually, psychiatric illness is not strongly associated with violence when not accompanied by chemical issues like intoxication and withdrawal states.

We need to acknowledge the extent to which addiction is behind the violence experienced by health care workers.  Violence in nursing has been massively underreported and underappreciated. Quite simply, the voices of nurses and other health care workers were not taken seriously and the health care industry permitted workplace violence to physically and psychologically impact America's vital front-line workers.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care and social service workers are 5x as likely to suffer a workplace violence injury than workers overall. 1 in 4 nurses reported being physically assaulted according to a 2019 ANA Survey.

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