(New York, NY) - State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, sponsors of the Safer Consumption Services Act, a bill that establishes a process for Overdose Prevention Centers (OPCs) to open and operate in New York State (S399A/A338), released the following statement in recognition of OnPoint NYC's 1000 overdose interventions.
"We are at a crossroads in our fight against the ever-escalating opioid overdose epidemic. We are losing more New Yorkers than ever to overdose deaths in communities around the state while substance use disorder is often criminalized and stigmatized instead of being treated as a public health emergency. We hail the milestone of OnPoint NYC's 1000th overdose intervention without a single death, testament to the effectiveness and necessity of these facilities.
Overdose Prevention Centers, which have been operating in countries across the world for decades, do not enable drug use but instead provide medical care and critical resources for people who use drugs to improve their lives. These facilities offer destigmatized, safe and medically supervised settings where people have access to harm reduction services, ranging from physical and mental health care to opportunities for housing to day-to-day necessities such as food, showers and laundry. They also reduce syringe litter on the street as well as offer a bridge to the neighborhood to make communities safer.
As longtime champions of OPCs, we strongly believe that New York State must employ evidence-based solutions to address this crisis. We have the tools, we just need the will to bring life-saving measures to New Yorkers who need them."