New York State Senate Committee passed the bill Authorize the establishment of state-licensed overdose prevention centers (OPCs, also known as supervised consumption points or safer consumption spaces). A safer space for consumption is a supervised place for illegal drug use under the supervision of a doctor. Senate Bill S399A (Creating the Safer Consumption Services Act (SCSA)) would require the New York State Department of Health to license at least one monitored consumption site. OPC already exists, but this bill would make it easier for harm reduction workers to do their job and enhance the work that is already being done.
New York City will open its first city-approved safe consumption facility at the end of 2021. The enactment of this law will provide a sterile environment (but not the substance) for people to use pre-obtained substances and provide a safe alternative to toilets. Or other sites you visit frequently. In addition, the prevention center will have health workers on site to help people administer medicines more safely. Such sites also offer protection not available when using drugs in unsupervised facilities, as health care workers are there to properly treat overdoses. Naloxone, which reverses opioid overdose, will be used in safer places of intake. Field workers educate participants about information about safer consumption habits and treatments. While this site may collect aggregate data about participants and their experiences, participants and staff of Safer Consumption sites are immune from prosecution for their sanctioned activities.
Going back a little in history, in 2015 the IDUHA (Injection Drug User Health Alliance) acted on the premise that people who use the toilet are more likely to be using opioids and are therefore at risk of overdosing. released a memo essentially directing harm reduction agencies to do so.City Harm Reduction Officer Explains high times. However, most government agencies require toilet users to have their door knocked every few minutes, staff to access the toilet and provide overdose support (naloxone and artificial respiration, EMS) if the user is unresponsive. We have adopted a policy of being able to provide information (including contacting “On average, my team overdoses on the toilet once a month, but using it several times a day does not constitute an overdose. You have to wait until it stops responding, at which point you may not have been breathing for several minutes,” the source said. “SCSA is an important piece of legislation because it recognizes the work that is already being done: harm reduction practitioners, drug users and their allies are already at the forefront of the overdose crisis. ”
The Senate Health Committee on Tuesday voted to pass Senator Gustavo Rivera’s (D) harm reduction bill, which will now be considered by the Finance Committee. A congressional version of the SCSA, sponsored by Rep. Linda Rosenthal (D), passed the chamber’s health committee in March.
“Harm reduction works. Harm reduction is a modality, a way of dealing with problems that first assume that drug users are human beings and must be addressed where they are,” said Rivera. said at the hearing. “Fact number two, criminalization is not working.”
“Through decades of the war on drugs, it is clear that we have lost that war,” he continues. “The idea that you can get out of addiction, that you can get out of overdose or death, has been proven false based on years of experience. Criminalization doesn’t work.”
This is a milestone in the history of harm reduction. “Today, the Senate recognized the dire situation New York is in because of the overdose crisis and policy failures during the war on drugs,” the advocacy group said. vocal NY said in a press release on Tuesday. The group’s Users Union leaders elaborated that “New York State is one step closer to having statewide overdose prevention centers licensed.” “Parliament must maintain momentum and pass the Safe Consumption Services Act in both chambers before the end of the session.”
But New York City harm reduction activists high times In a conversation with , he explained that the bill may simply be protecting what already exists, thanks to the diligent efforts of committed harm reduction groups. “All her OPCs will be placed in existing harm reduction agencies. Realistically speaking, the bill won’t change much. I went to Albany with housing construction, and OnPoint for speaking to lawmakers who have not yet signed.when i met [New York State Senator] Tim Kennedy’s Legislative Director, I said to her, “We’ve already done this, but we can’t admit it, so we have to keep the bathroom door closed.” is everything you want. ”