State Senator Gustavo Rivera on DOHMH's New Guidelines for Overdose Prevention Centers

"New York is leading the nation with expansive access to naloxone, fentanyl test strips, overdose prevention training, and harm reduction tools. I want to thank Commissioner Vasan and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for the Commissioner’s Advisory and for issuing guidelines for overdose prevention centers, affirming their importance and legitimacy. The guidelines establish that harm reduction spaces like OPCs are expected to employ trained professionals who offer medical care to people who use drugs, ensure the surrounding community is made safer by reducing public drug use and syringe litter, provide wraparound services to address poverty and homelessness of their clients, and adhere to federal and state laws applying to government-funded, existing harm reduction programs and services.

OPCs may be new in the US, but they have existed in other countries for decades and have prevented countless overdose deaths. Passing my Safer Consumption Services Act at this critical juncture is a necessity because it would allow the state to authorize and regulate medical facilities for New Yorkers with substance use issues to seek help and access suitable resources.

I encourage all New Yorkers to review the Commissioner's Advisory to stay informed on overdose prevention and talk to loved ones about substance use and the resources available.”

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