Safe Injection Facilities in Harlem?

In response to the health care crisis created by the Opioid Epidemic, Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) introduced legislation ( Bill A.8534) in the New York State Assembly authorizing safer consumption spaces as an emergency public health tool to combat overdose deaths. The movement for Safe Injection Facilities is supported by a combination of healthcare professionals, public health experts and advocates, who feel this a great tool in the harm reduction arsenal when dealing with the drug crisis sweeping our country

Supervised injection facilities (SIF), are facilities where people can legally consume previously purchased illicit drugs with supervision from trained staff who help make their use safer by providing a clean and sterile enviroment and emergency overdose antidote (narcan).

The staff at the facilities are able to connect them with medical care, drug treatment, and social services. Peer reviewed evaluations of these facilities consistently demonstrates a variety of public health benefits including reducing public nuisance associated with illicit drug use, such as public drug use and improper syringe disposal; reducing overdose deaths; increasing access to drug treatment; and reducing risk behaviors for Hepatitis C and HIV, and reducing tax payer funded health care costs for the addicted community.

The bill outlines a framework for supervised consumption spaces to operate, which would likely be sited within existing syringe exchange programs, some of whom already run tacit under-the-radar programs that mirror this format.

Now Bill A.8534 would allow them to legally integrate supervised consumption services into their existing operations. Part of the bill requires an evaluation of the efficacy of the services, and would provide legal protections for the programs and participants and would still allow local jurisdictions to choose to permit a safer consumption space.

The MMPCIA invites you to join us and our Elected Officials, Law Enforcement, and Community Drug Care Providers as we discuss this issue in a Public Forum. Please come and have your voices heard.

Tuesday February 6th 2018
Ascension Church
15 Mount Morris Park West