"Results  No significant changes were detected in violent crimes or property crimes recorded by police, 911 calls for crime or medical incidents, or 311 calls regarding drug use or unsanitary conditions observed in the vicinity of the OPCs. There was a significant decline in low-level drug enforcement, as reflected by a reduction in arrests for drug possession near the OPCs of 82.7% (95% CI, −89.9% to −70.4%) and a reduction in their broader neighborhoods of 74.5% (95% CI, −87.0% to −50.0%). Significant declines in criminal court summonses issued in the immediate vicinity by 87.9% (95% CI, −91.9% to −81.9%) and in the neighborhoods around the OPCs by 59.7% (95% CI, −73.8% to −38.0%) were observed. Reductions in enforcement were consistent with the city government’s support for the 2 OPCs, which may have resulted in a desire not to deter clients from using the sites by fear of arrest for drug possession.

"Conclusions and Relevance  In this difference-in-differences cohort study, the first 2 government-sanctioned OPCs in the US were not associated with significant changes in measures of crime or disorder. These observations suggest the expansion of OPCs can be managed without negative crime or disorder outcomes."


Chalfin A, del Pozo B, Mitre-Becerril D. Overdose Prevention Centers, Crime, and Disorder in New York City. JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6(11):e2342228. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.42228