A supposedly risky experiment is working wonders: With less than two months under their belt, New York City’s overdose prevention centers have already averted dozens of would-be tragedies.
As of the end of Thursday, the two safe-injection facilities operated by new nonprofit OnPoint NYC, both in Upper Manhattan, have together reversed 120 overdoses. Seen from one angle, it is alarming that there has been such a volume of overdoses, far outpacing initial estimates that the centers could save 130 lives per year. Seen from another, these are more than a hundred overdoses that would have likely happened anyway, except instead of ending in near misses, they would have been irreversible tragedies.
The lives saved are fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, coworkers and neighbors who now have the opportunity to be steered to supportive services, including medication-assisted treatment and other pathways to break free of their addiction.