November 30, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Contact: Jasmine Budnella, email@example.com, 720-480-5262
After Historic Year of Surging Overdoses, New York City Makes History by Opening the First Overdose Prevention Centers in the Country
NEW YORK — In the wake of the deadliest surge and highest overdose deaths in history, Mayor de Blasio announces New York City has agreed to allow two life-saving Overdose Prevention Centers to begin operating, also known as safe consumption sites. In response, VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to Jasmine Budnella, Director of Drug Policy:
“Today is a historic and emotional day. New York City has made history by boldly implementing the first Overdose Prevention Centers in the country. After a devastating year of record overdose deaths, our city’s life-saving action will reverberate across the nation. For over a decade, drug users and harm reductionists have fought to bring Overdose Prevention Centers to the United States. Many of them are not here to see this day. Today we honor every single one of them we lost while fighting this fight – this win is theirs. We enthusiastically welcome this moment of care, compassion, and evidence-based solutions to address the overdose crisis. This is one step forward towards ending the drug war.”
The overdose crisis continues to take more New Yorkers’ lives than car accidents, suicides, and homicides combined. From April 2020 to April 2021, in New York City over 2,400 people died from an overdose – a 43% increase from the previous year. Overdose remains the leading cause of death for homeless New Yorkers.
In New York State, over 5,100 people died from a preventable overdose in 2020 alone – the highest recorded number and surge in history. A New Yorker is dying from an overdose every hour and 48 minutes to a preventable overdose across the state. Based on preliminary CDC data and trends, it is likely 2021 will have higher rates of overdose than 2020.