Some big-city mayors try to prevent people from using drugs in the open public.
Then there’s Bill de Blasio of New City, who’s going out with guns a-blazing when it comes to radical ideas for the city.
As he finishes out his term, he’s authorizing two supervised injection sites for drug users to shoot up in East Harlem and Washington Heights.
They are called “Overdose Prevention Centers,” as de Blasio believes they will cut down on drug overdose deaths, which de Blasio claims are at record levels.
Here’s what de Blasio said in a statement.
“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. 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.”
A study by NYC’s health department released in 2018 estimated that having four supervised centers would save up to 130 lives per year and reduce syringe litter.
It’s hard to argue that drug overdose deaths aren’t a massive problem in the U.S. The CDC released data that said that during a 12-month period that ended this past April, over 100,000 people died of a drug overdose. New York City had 2,000 overdose deaths.
Fentanyl is the biggest killer, as it showed up in 77% of the OD deaths in NYC.
Other liberal cities have looked into this approach, including Philly, San Francisco, and Boston, but NYC is the first to open public centers.
Critics claim this will encourage drug use.