New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced in a Tuesday statement the opening of the nation’s first legal drug injection sites.
The statement from the mayor and Health Department noted the services come at a critical time. “During 2020, over 2,000 individuals died of a drug overdose in New York City, the highest number since reporting began in 2000,” the statement said.
“New York City has led the nation’s battle against COVID-19, and the fight to keep our community safe doesn’t stop there. After exhaustive study, we know the right path forward to protect the most vulnerable people in our city. And we will not hesitate to take it,” de Blasio said.
“Overdose Prevention Centers are a safe and effective way to address the opioid crisis. I’m proud to show cities in this country that after decades of failure, a smarter approach is possible,” he added.
For more than 29 years, we have dedicated our lives to ending #overdose deaths & the criminalization & stigma associated with substance use. Being the 1st OPC site in the US is an honor & incredible step forward in ending the #overdosecrisis #wearethemedicine #THISSITESAVESLIVES pic.twitter.com/3NuuDCSh9C
— NYHRE (@NYHarmReduction) November 30, 2021
Not everyone agrees with the new sanctioned drug injection sites.
Democrats have allowed cartels to pour drugs over our Southern border & are releasing career drug dealers back on our streets. Now they’re opening community centers to shoot up. Under Trump, @DOJ promised intervention. We need same commitment now @POTUS! https://t.co/9whBp67R4l
— Nicole Malliotakis (@NMalliotakis) November 30, 2021
The move may be a first, but is not a service the city or country wants to be known for.