May 23, 2023
VOCAL-NY APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF THE SAFER CONSUMPTION SERVICES ACT THROUGH THE SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE
The Safer Consumption Services Act Would Authorize Overdose Prevention Centers Across New York State
More Than 17 New Yorkers Die a Day From a Preventable Overdose Statewide
NEW YORK — Today, in response to the passage of the Safer Consumption Services Act through the Senate Health committee, VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to VOCAL-NY’s Users Union leaders:
“Today, the Senate recognized the dire situation New York is in because of the overdose crisis and failed War On Drugs era policies. While Governor Hochul refuses to lead New York State at this moment of heightened overdose deaths, the Senate Health Committee decided today that we can’t wait idly as more New Yorkers die from a preventable overdose.
We are deeply thankful for Senator Gustavo Rivera, Chair of the Senate Health Committee and prime sponsor of the Safer Consumption Services Act, for being our long-time champion on this issue and bill. We want to uplift Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for displaying her leadership today in ensuring that investing in evidence-based public health tools is a priority for the Senate.
New York is one step closer to seeing Overdose Prevention Centers authorized across the state. The legislature needs to keep the momentum and pass the Safer Consumption Services Act out of both houses by the end of session.”
Earlier this year, following the lead of the Opioid Settlement Board’s recommendations, the Senate proposed $40 million of the Opioid Settlement Funds to go towards Overdose Prevention Centers in their one-house budget.
Recently, 73 community organizations sent to Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Heastie, urging them to pass the Safer Consumption Services Act (S399/A338) this session.
Two weeks ago, the National Institute of Drug Abuse committed $5 million towards researching the Overdose Prevention Centers here in New York and the pending site in Rhode Island, which shows the deep interest the federal government has in studying OPCs as a necessary public health tool.