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NYC’s Overdose Prevention Centers Saved Dozens Of Lives In First Weeks Of Activity

The NY centers, operating in Washington Heights and East Harlem, are the first publicly recognized sites of their kind to open in the United States.

By Natan Ponieman

Three weeks after opening the country’s first overdose prevention centers (OPCs), New York City officials said the sites have saved dozens of lives already.

OPCs were opened in late November as sites where people can use illicit drugs under medical supervision.

illegal drugs
Photo by Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

The centers have averted at least 59 overdoses and were utilized more than 2,000 times, the New York City Health Department reported.

In the overdose prevention centers people can consume pre-obtained drugs in controlled settings under the supervision of trained staff and with access to sterile consumption equipment, tools to check their supply for the presence of fentanyl, as well as connections to health care, counseling and referrals to health and social services, including drug treatment.

RELATED: New York City First In The US To Open Safe Injection Sites For Illegal Drugs

“These data are promising and show how Overdose Prevention Centers will reduce needless suffering and avoidable death,” said health commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “The simple truth is that Overdose Prevention Centers save lives — the lives of our neighbors, family and loved ones.”

new york
Photo by Jon Flobrant via Unsplash

The NY centers, operating in Washington Heights and East Harlem, are the first publicly recognized sites of their kind to open in the United States.

RELATED: White House Drug Czar Signals Possibility Of Safe Consumption Sites To Address Drug Overdose Crisis

This week, the NYC Board of Health issued a statement on taking action to prevent drug overdose deaths and urged the federal government and New York State to support overdose prevention centers and other harm reduction services.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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