To date, OnPoint NYC’s two overdose prevention centers — the second of which is located in Washington Heights — have served 678 people and intervened in 134 overdoses, according to the New York City Department of Health.
“The simple truth is that overdose prevention centers save lives — the lives of our neighbors, family and loved ones,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi in a statement.
Detractors argue that government entities and even private groups should be barred from taking any step that could enable dangerous, illegal behavior.
But that’s been the status quo for years, said Sam Rivera, executive director of OnPoint NYC, and tens of thousands of Americans die every year, many of them due to overdoses or infections that spread through sharing or reusing dirty needles.
“We are addressing a crisis,” Rivera said. “We must be proactive and meet those struggling with addiction where they are.”