Albany, NY: New York State legislators will be part of a statewide coalition to launch an aggressive legislative marketing campaign to create safer consumption areas (SCSs), also referred to as supervised injection amenities (SIFs), in New York State. The coalition, often called “Finish Overdose NY,” is comprised of public well being and healthcare professionals, religion leaders, members of the family of these battling opioid dependency, drug remedy suppliers in addition to individuals in restoration, and people nonetheless actively utilizing medication. Audio system will give attention to the pressing want for these life-saving packages within the wake of New York’s overdose disaster which kills extra individuals than site visitors accidents, homicides and suicides mixed. As well as, the coalition will level to how states and cities throughout the nation have taken steps to implement the well-researched amenities.
Earlier within the day, the coalition held a legislative briefing on the “Finish Overdose New York” drug coverage platform, a Three-point program for a complete and compassionate response to ending overdose throughout the state.
Audio system urged New York State to move the Secure Consumption Providers Act (A8534). The act would enable well being departments to authorize group based mostly organizations to determine safer consumption areas (SCSs), locations the place individuals can use pre-obtained medication in a managed surroundings with point-of-care assist from workers skilled to assist members to make their drug use safer, to forestall and to reply to overdoses, and to offer linkage to well being and supportive providers.
Efforts have already begun. Final yr, over 100 healthcare suppliers launched a letter in assist of SCS, as advocates traveled all through the state with a mannequin SCS, which garnered statewide media consideration. New York State’s Division of Well being has begun a dialog about launching a handful of analysis SCS pilot packages. And, the New York Metropolis Council allotted $ 100,000 final yr to fund a feasibility examine that also has not been launched.
“The opioid epidemic has New York State on the ropes, and now we have an obligation to hit again with probably the most highly effective instruments within the hurt discount arsenal. Supervised Consumption Websites might not be a silver bullet, however the world over their document of saving lives is unimaginable – nobody has ever died in a safer consumption website,” stated Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF- Manhattan), Chair of the Meeting Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. “Dependancy is a crippling illness that has touched too many households in our state, and we should open this pathway to remedy and restoration.”
“Supervised injection amenities are an efficient hurt discount technique,” stated Meeting Well being Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried. “They’re an necessary setting for connecting individuals with well being care and social providers, and I stay up for working with VOCAL and Meeting Alcohol and Drug Abuse Chair Linda Rosenthal to maneuver this problem ahead.”
“Acacia bears first hand witness to the truth that the communities we serve proceed to endure the struggles of the opioid epidemic that’s impacting not solely New York State, but additionally our nation. Acacia is a pioneer on this area, combatting this epidemic because the 1960s. We’ve got seen households ripped aside, dad and mom lose their kids. Acacia believes our greatest likelihood at profitable this battle is to fulfill shoppers the place they’re. We stand alongside NYS leaders in working collectively to avoid wasting as many lives as we are able to!” acknowledged Raul Russi, Chief Government Officer Acacia Community, considered one of New York’s largest drug remedy packages.
“International locations world wide, together with our neighbors to the North, have embraced the operation of Safer Consumption Areas. These are medical amenities that enable individuals to make the most of medication in a protected, supervised surroundings. Whereas this could be counter-intuitive and laborious to wrap our heads round, we should bear in mind this disaster requires us to remain centered on saving lives. There isn’t any room for ethical debates that delay life-saving interventions. Saving lives is our one and solely precedence. Relationship again to the 1970’s over 100 legally sanctioned Safer Consumption Areas have opened in cities world wide. To this point there has not been one deadly overdose in any of those. Whereas persons are on the amenities medication might be examined to make sure they don’t seem to be synthetically manufactured, medical wants might be addressed, counseling is obtainable, and in some websites detox facilities are housed in the identical constructing. This offers an important entry level for people who need rapid entry to remedy,” stated Chief (Ret.) Brendan Cox, former Chief of the Albany, NY Police Division. Whereas the analysis across the efficacy and effectiveness of public well being responses overwhelmingly reveals optimistic outcomes, the identical can’t be stated for legal justice responses. The Conflict on Medication just isn’t the reply – for the lives of our family members we should embrace higher, proof based mostly approaches firmly rooted in Public Well being.”
“We are able to’t sit again any longer whereas our mates and family members die after we know there’s extra we might be doing, proper now, to guard these most in danger,” stated Shantae Owens, a member of VOCAL-NY and previously homeless injection drug consumer. “The earlier New York permits safer consumption areas, the extra lives we’ll save.”
“In a second when New York State’s overdose disaster continues to grow–with overdose deaths killing extra New Yorkers than site visitors accidents, homicides, and suicide combined–we want daring pondering and motion,” stated Kassandra Frederique, New York State director of the Drug Coverage Alliance. “If we wish to save lives, scale back criminalization, and finish racial disparities, we want complete, progressive, and forward-thinking approaches like safer consumption areas. New York is in a novel place to step up and implement progressive drug insurance policies rooted in science, compassion, and public well being as we did with syringe exchanges earlier than. It’s the time for New York’s elected officers to paved the way in implementing drug insurance policies that may succeed.”
“Exponents, a drug remedy group in NYC, helps the provision of Secure Injection Amenities in NY State. The proof is evident, SIFs save lives by decreasing overdoses and illness transmission. In addition they current remedy and public well being counselors a possibility to have interaction these people and be of assist to them,” stated Howard Josepher, CEO of Exponents.
“It’s time to admit that the interventions that now we have historically relied on to cope with substance use have failed us. We can’t incarcerate our means out of this drawback and remedy as it’s at present practiced is insufficient to the state of affairs at hand. New fashions and a brand new imaginative and prescient are required going ahead. Hurt discount interventions like safer consumption providers are the long run and are wanted not solely in massive metropolitan areas of the state, however in rural areas which were decimated by the wave of dying that the present overdose disaster has left in its wake. It’s time to make coverage on the idea of analysis, knowledge and compassion, not concern and superstition. It’s time to do the best factor, even when it scares us,” stated John Barry, Government Director of Southern Tier AIDS Program.
“We as medical suppliers selected to dedicate our lives to serving to individuals, stopping sickness and most significantly saving lives. The implementation of protected consumption areas with related hurt discount approaches within the opioid epidemic remedy spectrum represents compassionate remedy, sound public well being coverage, and good fiscal use of assets,” stated Samara M. Gabree, nurse practitioner at Whitney Younger Medical of Albany NY.
“Throughout New York, communities are recognizing that we won’t finish overdose with out asking the powerful questions and making laborious selections. The Safer Consumption Providers Act challenges us all to reply with empathy for individuals battling opioids, and with hope for a safer New York for everybody. It is time to decide to creating the areas we have to save the lives and restore the dignity of probably the most weak members of our communities,” stated Daniel Raymond, Deputy Director of Hurt Discount Coalition.
“If the AIDS epidemic taught us something about drug habit, we realized that lifeless addicts don’t get better. We additionally realized that individuals who use medication finest discover their method to wholeness when provided nonjudgmental providers that meet their primary wants. New York State ought to have the braveness to at the least set up pilot SIFs for the aim of testing their efficacy, not simply in stopping overdose deaths, but additionally as a gateway to drug consumer well being and low threshold remedy,” stated Charles King CEO of Housing Works.
“As a mom who watched her kids battle with habit for a decade, I really feel a protected consumption website would have allowed my sons to entry restoration assets sooner,” stated Laurie Quinn, mom of a member of the family in restoration.
“Secure Consumption Areas provide important advantages to each public well being and public security, representing a mandatory transfer away from criminalization and towards well being and security. In reality, these areas extra successfully deal with lots of the points that punitive coercive approaches goal to, resembling public consumption, deadly overdose, and entry to remedy and supportive providers,” stated Keith Brown, MPH, Director, Well being & Hurt Discount, Katal Middle for Well being, Fairness, and Justice.
Each seven hours, somebody dies of a drug overdose in New York Metropolis.
Practically 100 SIFs exist world wide. They’ve been rigorously evaluated and proven to steeply scale back overdose deaths, HIV and viral hepatitis infections, and public dysfunction, and to extend entry to drug remedy and different healthcare. Thousands and thousands of injections having taken place at a few of them, but not one overdose dying has been documented in these amenities.
Momentum for safer consumption areas is constructing throughout the nation, with officers in Philadelphia asserting their plan to create Complete Consumer Engagement Websites (CUES), successfully safer consumption areas, at a press convention on January 23, 2018. Final yr, San Francisco’s metropolis well being officers stated they might probably open protected injection websites inside Eight-12 months. Kings County in Washington State has been authorised to open an SCS. Maryland, Vermont, California, Maine and Massachusetts have all launched laws to approve the websites. Past educational analysis, a rising physique of editorial boards and opinion items have highlighted the necessity: New York Instances, Washington Submit, USA Right this moment, US Information, Huffington Submit, Baltimore Solar, Seattle Instances, Bloomberg Information, LA Instances, The Nation, and the Boston Globe.
The American Medical Affiliation (AMA) voted to assist the event of pilot safer consumption areas. The New York Academy of Drugs and Massachusetts Medical Society additionally each publicly assist safer consumption areas, and the Journal of the American Medical Affiliation printed a assessment of analysis supporting safer consumption areas. In April 2017, greater than 100 New York Metropolis healthcare professionals signed an open letter in assist of safer consumption areas, urging elected representatives to undertake them as a public well being intervention to forestall overdose deaths.
Regardless of elevated spending on remedy, in New York State deaths from drug overdoses elevated 71 % between 2010 and 2015. From 2013 to 2015, 7,213 New Yorkers throughout the state died of overdose. New York Metropolis noticed greater than 1,300 overdose deaths in 2016 alone–a 46 % enhance from 2015 and the sixth straight yr of elevated overdose price.
For extra background on the marketing campaign for supervised injection amenities, go to www.SIFNYC.org.