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New York City Opens First Legally Authorized Safe Consumption Sites In US

On November 30, 2021, the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York announced that "the first publicly recognized Overdose Prevention Center (OPC) services in the nation have commenced in New York City. OPCs are an extension of existing harm reduction services and will be co-located with previously established syringe service providers."

According to the release:
"OPCs, also referred to as supervised consumption sites or facilities, are safe places where people who use drugs can receive medical care and be connected to treatment and social services. OPC services are proven to prevent overdose deaths, and are in use in jurisdictions around the world. There has never been an overdose death in any OPC. A Health Department feasibility study found that OPCs in New York City would save up to 130 lives a year.

"Additionally, OPCs are a benefit to their surrounding communities, reducing public drug use and syringe litter. Other places with OPCs have not seen an increase in crime, even over many years.

"OPCs will be in communities based on health need and depth of program experience. A host of City agencies will run joint operations focused on addressing street conditions across the City, and we will include an increased focus on the areas surrounding the OPCs as they open."

Vancouver's Chief Medical Officer Endorses Compassion Clubs and Safe Supply

Efforts in Vancouver, BC to establish a peer-led compassion club for procuring and distributing a safe supply of drugs have gained the support of Vancouver's chief medical officer. The Tyee reported on October 21, 2021:

"Vancouver’s chief medical health officer says she fully supports an attempt to establish a compassion club model to provide tested heroin, cocaine and meth to users as tainted street drugs continue to kill around six people a day in British Columbia.

"Dr. Patricia Daly made the comments during an update on the poisoned drugs crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic to Vancouver city council today.

"While prescribed safe supply programs are in place for some drug users who are at the greatest risk of dying from an overdose, 'we cannot prescribe our way out of the overdose crisis,' she said.

"Last week, Vancouver’s mayor and councillors voted to support an application for an exemption from Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that would let a group called the Drug User Liberation Front procure and distribute tested drugs."

Earlier in October, the Vancouver City Council officially endorsed DULF's efforts to set up a compassion club. The Vancouver Sun reported on October 7, 2021:

"The City of Vancouver voted unanimously in favour of supporting a peer-led program that would help get a safe supply of drugs to individuals at high risk of overdose in the Downtown Eastside.

"Coun. Jean Swanson called for the approval of North America’s first compassion club that gives members access to prescription heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, in a council motion this week."

Drug User Liberation Front

Moms Stop The Harm

Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs