December 12, 2023
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VOCAL-NY SLAMS GOVERNOR HOCHUL FOR NOT INVESTING OPIOID SETTLEMENT FUNDS TO EXPAND LIFE-SAVING OVERDOSE PREVENTION CENTERS
With Overdose Deaths At An All-Time High In NY, Gov. Hochul Rejects Opioid Settlement Advisory Board’s Recommendation To Expand and Fund Life-Saving OPCs
The Two Overdose Prevention Centers In NYC Celebrate Two Years Of Operation And More Than 1,200 Lives Saved
NEW YORK — Last week, and for the second year in a row, Governor Hochul rejected the recommendations of her Opioid Settlement Advisory Board to expand and fund Overdose Prevention Centers (OPCs). In response, VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to Hiawatha Collins, VOCAL-NY board member and Users Union leader:
“Governor Hochul chose to walk over the bodies of our loved ones and reject public health recommendations needed to change the tide in New York’s overdose crisis. The OPCs in NYC have saved the lives of more than 1,200 New Yorkers since opening in 2021; touting New York as the leader in harm reduction in the country while rejecting the recommendation to expand and fund critical OPCs is a slap in the face to the thousands of New Yorkers who have died while Hochul took office.
The catastrophic reality in NY is that our state’s leaders will use dangerous rhetoric to mask their lack of political will, at a time where more than 6,400 people died from a preventable overdose in 2022 alone. Hochul’s rejection proves that she is the roadblock to authorizing life-saving Overdose Prevention Centers across New York State.”
Last year, Governor Hochul rejected the first year recommendations of her own appointed Opioid Settlement Board to spend millions of settlement money on the expansion of OPCs – citing federal concerns despite the federal government awarded more than $5 million in funding to NYU Langone Health and Brown University’s School of Public Health to study the impact of OPCs in New York and Rhode Island, and the U.S. Attorney to the Southern District of New York demanding the state authorized and regulates OPCs.