Press Statements

VOCAL-NY Condemns California Gov. Newsom’s Veto of Legislation to Authorize Overdose Prevention Centers

August 22, 2022

CONTACT: Jasmine Budnella, 


VOCAL-NY Calls on Governor Hochul to Lead on the Overdose Crisis in New York State by  Authorizing Overdose Prevention Centers

In New York City Alone, Overdose Prevention Centers Have Intervened in More than 415 Overdoses 

NEW YORK — In response to news that California Governor Newsom has vetoed legislation that would authorize Overdose Prevention Centers (OPCs) in three cities, VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to Jasmine Budnella, Director of Drug Policy:

“Governor Newsom’s veto is a fatal mistake. It’s a callous move that rejects the evidence and lacks political courage. The 415 lives saved by New York City’s Overdose Prevention Centers should be all the evidence needed that these programs can begin to turn the tide on our overdose crisis, and offer care, support, and dignity. 

Governor Hochul must lead and show the entire country that New York is – and has been – a beacon of harm reduction. Saving lives is a winning issue, and New York doesn’t need to wait for California or the federal government to take action. Anything less than immediate, executive action to authorize and expand OPCs will inevitably result in more New Yorkers needlessly dying from preventable overdoses.”


New York State is in the midst of the worst preventable overdose crisis on record – a New Yorker is dying from a preventable overdose every 90 minutes. In late November, OnPoint opened the nation’s first two sanctioned Overdose Prevention Centers (OPCs) in Manhattan. The two sites have intervened in over 415 overdoses, and have diverted over 60,000 units of hazardous waste (syringes and supplies) from parks and public spaces. 

Polling shows that a strong majority of New Yorkers support expanding Overdose Prevention Centers. A majority – 64% of New Yorkers from across the state – support expanding Overdose Prevention Centers, across political parties, rural areas, and urban areas.


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