A new briefing paper by VOCAL-NY’s Policy Director, Matt Curtis, outlines evidence-based approaches for policymakers to end the overdose epidemic in New York. The report is available online.
New York has a drug overdose crisis. Now the leading cause of accidental death in the state, overdose death rates have soared alongside increasing prescription opioid use and as people transition from pills to heroin. Heroin-related deaths have increased by 70% in New York City in the past two years, and cocaine poisoning continues to be involved in about half of deaths.
It doesn’t need to be this way. For better or worse, people will continue to use drugs. It’s past time to own up to the fact that we can’t arrest our way out of that problem. What New York needs are drug policies based on public health and scientific evidence.
New York already has the tools and know-how to greatly reduce overdose deaths. We only need the political will. Our new briefing paper outlines approaches to prevent overdose deaths value health over punishment and are based on decades of experience and public health research.
For more information about this report, contact Matt Curtis at matt (at) vocal-ny.org or (646) 234-9062.