As his tenure as mayor of the Big Apple nears its close, Bill de Blasio achieved one more objective of his before leaving office: opening the first-in-the-nation legal shooting galleries for drug addicts.
On the very first day of the clinics being opened, five people overdosed at just one clinic, but de Blasio said the centers are a good thing.
“Overdose Prevention Centers are a safe and effective way to address the opioid crisis,” de Blasio claimed. “I’m proud to show cities in this country that after decades of failure, a smarter approach is possible.”
According to the NYC Health Department, the sites will provide clean needles and social services, but users must bring their own drugs.
The first two sites to open are in Washington Heights and Harlem, where 5 people overdosed after injecting themselves with drugs laced with fentanyl.
Over 2,000 New Yorkers died of drug overdoses in 2020, the most since overdose tracking began in 2000. Opioids are the culprit in the majority of overdoses.
Between January and March of 2021, 596 people have died due to addiction, and city officials claim the new legal injection sites could save over 100 people a year.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis has called on the Department of Justice to block the sites, noting that the DOJ under President Trump said the sites violate the federal Controlled Substances Act.
“Instead of focusing on the root cause of the drug epidemic, Mayor de Blasio is enabling drug cartels that continue to break our laws, smuggle illegal drugs over our border, and prey on our children,” Malliotakis said.
“Crime and fentanyl use are at record highs because of open borders, botched bail reform, and anti-police policies that keep releasing criminal drug dealers back onto our streets. Opening taxpayer-funded heroin shooting galleries is not a proper solution. These centers not only encourage drug use but they will further deteriorate our quality of life,” she added.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)