New York City Opens Nation's First Safe Injection Site for Drug Users - Baller Alert

New York City Opens Nation’s First Safe Injection Site for Drug Users

New York City is taking a significant step in combatting overdose deaths by introducing the first safe injection sites in the country. These sites already exist in places like Australia, Canada, and Europe. 

The centers, which opened Tuesday, are operated by the nonprofit OnPointNYC. They are located in Manhattan. 

“Being the 1st OPC site in the US is an honor & incredible step forward in ending the opioid crisis,” the group tweeted.

People facing drug addiction will be able to inject heroin and other illicit drugs while being monitored for signs of overdose by healthcare professionals. The United States saw its most deadly year for drug overdoses last year. More than 100,000 Americans lost their lives to overdoses.

In addition to being able to shoot up in a safe environment, users will be referred for treatment and other services. They will be offered clean needles, which helps reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. 

The centers, backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, will reportedly operate without users fearing arrest. NYC health commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi told NPR that arrangements have been made with the New York City Police Department and other law enforcement to let the sites function without interference.

“We are confident these are spaces that will be allowed to operate for what they are,” Chokshi told the outlet. “They’re clinical, safe, hygienic spaces where people can go to access care and seek treatment.”

De Blasio echoed Chokshi sentiment last month, optimistic that law enforcement would not target the centers. 

“We have a new administration in Washington, a new administration in Albany,” the mayor said in October. “It was the right time to do something on this topic while we could finally have the kind of potential cooperation we need.”

 

About ErinBoogie

Erin Boogie is a blogger for BallerAlert.com and producer/co-host of the weekly radio show In the Field Radio.

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