Jose Martinez spent several years unhoused, jobless, and trapped in a cycle of addiction to synthetic marijuana – a lab-created drug that affected his mind and behavior and is dangerous and sometimes deadly.
His life changed when the Bronx, NY, resident began recovery in 2017, which he credits in large part to what is now an overdose prevention site in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood. “People can access safer supplies, but also mental health services, and I used those,” said Martinez, 35. “Before that, I tried rehab and detox, and they didn’t work for me. The [site] helped me get there when I was ready.” He added, “We were a community, like a family.”
The federal government will, for the first time, bankroll a study of how well overdose prevention sites work, according to an announcement on May 8.
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