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Mayor Bill de Blasio proposes 4 four supervised injection sites in New York City
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has backed the one-year pilot program to open four overdose prevention centers, also known as supervised injection facilities (SIFs), to deal with the rising cases of fatal drug overdoses. The facilities would allow people to inject heroin and other drugs in the presence of medical professionals. However, the plan would require approval from the state Health Department, district attorneys, and local council members before it is actually executed.
Concerned about the increasing number of opioid overdose deaths in the country, the new-age program was endorsed by De Blasio the day the city’s Health Department released a study claiming that the program could prevent 130 overdose deaths every year. “After a rigorous review of similar efforts across the world, and after careful consideration of public health and safety expert views, we believe overdose prevention centers will save lives and get more New Yorkers into the treatment they need to beat this deadly addiction,” De Blasio tweeted.
If the proposal gets through, supervised injection sites would open at the pre-existing needle exchange centers in Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, Midtown West and Washington Heights in Manhattan, and Longwood in The Bronx. Trained medical staff would be present at the proposed SIFs to administer overdose-reversing drug naloxone. The facilities won’t be opened immediately as city officials said that they would first have a discussion with the communities in the next six to 12 months to measure the program’s advantages and disadvantages.
There are around 98 SIFs operational in 66 cities of several countries, including Canada, Australia and Switzerland. Though the idea has been endorsed by U.S. cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, the country does not have a single supervised injection site. However, San Francisco is going to have its first two SIFs by July 2018.
Dealing with drug addiction
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that drug overdoses caused around 3,638 deaths in New York in 2016 compared to 2,754 in 2015. In the New York City alone, there were around 1,374 unintentional drug overdose deaths in 2016 compared to 937 in 2015. Experts say that federal and state governments should fund more non-profit drug abuse help centers to curb the rising number of overdose-related deaths in the country.
The good thing is that opioid use disorder can be treated with timely medical intervention. If a person is grappling with opioid addiction, he/she should immediately seek professional help from a reputed rehab center. If you or someone you know is battling an addiction, contact the New York Drug Treatment and Rehab Center to help you with one of the best drug abuse recovery programs and embrace sobriety. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 646-666-7461 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity. Remember that substance use disorders can have life-threatening implications, if left untreated.