Press Statements

VOCAL-NY Slams Gov. Hochul After NYC 2021 Overdose Data Released

January 13, 2023

CONTACT: Jasmine Budnella, McGough,


Governor Hochul Recently Rejected the Opioid Settlement Board’s Recommendation to Use Settlement Funds to Keep Overdose Prevention Centers Running

NEW YORK — After calling on Mayor Adams and DOHMH Commissioner Vasan to release finalized 2021 overdose data, new data was released yesterday illustrating significant increases in preventable overdoses. In response, VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to leaders of the Users Union: 

“We are grateful the City released the finalized overdose data for 2021 – but outraged by what they depict. They are both illustrative of the heartbreaking reality we see everyday in our community, and infuriating that so many of our people died because of lack of political will and the racist, classist drug war. Black New Yorkers had the highest rates of overdose for the second straight year, and the poorest and most divested neighborhoods are feeling the brunt of this crisis. 

New York City DOHMH Commissioner Vasan is right: it takes true moral leadership to employ the proven solutions to keep our people alive and connected to services. We’ve run out of time on the overdose crisis. Governor Hochul: this is your moment to find that leadership and heed the calls to expand Overdose Prevention Centers. We don’t need another Cuomo, we need a moral leader. We hold the 2,668 lives lost in our hearts and our fight, and lay the responsibility at your door.”


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