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As de Blasio Dawdles on Safer Consumption Spaces, Health Advocates Block Broadway Traffic

As de Blasio Dawdles on Safer Consumption Spaces, Health Advocates Block Broadway Traffic

BY NATHAN RILEY | Outraged that Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to sit on a city health department study into the efficacy of establishing safe places for drug users to pursue their high — facilities that are in place all over Europe with proven track records of reducing fatal overdoses — protestors sat down in […]

Health Department Gives Peer Support to OD Survivors

Health Department Gives Peer Support to OD Survivors

BY NATHAN RILEY | Once she received the call, Cathy Kelleher dashed to the emergency room at Columbia Presbyterian and asked the man whose overdose had been reversed, “What can I do to help?” Hesitantly, he mentioned his need for a birth certificate, but the office in Puerto Rico closed after the hurricane. From this simple […]

Rosenthal Takes Lead in Drug Policy Rethinking

Rosenthal Takes Lead in Drug Policy Rethinking

BY NATHAN RILEY | Upper West Side State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal is emerging as a principal player among legislators aiming to unravel New York’s decades-old, counterproductive War on Drugs. From her influential post as chair of the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Committee, she is lead sponsor on a bill offering care for drug users while they […]

Advocates Press de Blasio to Release Safe Drug Use Study

Advocates Press de Blasio to Release Safe Drug Use Study

BY NATHAN RILEY | Advocates are demanding that Mayor Bill de Blasio release a city health department feasibility study on safer consumption spaces where users take their drugs in the presence of an overdose prevention worker. Nearly 100 such facilities are operating around the world, but New York City has delayed moving forward on this […]

Murder Prosecutions of Low-Level Sellers Stymie Public Health

BY NATHAN RILEY | Drug law reformers are pushing back against a new wave of counterproductive cruelty from prohibition-minded law enforcement seeking to prevent drug use with harsh sentences. Drug users and low-level sellers are being accused of drug-induced homicides (DIH) in ever-greater numbers, according to a new report by the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). […]

City Shelters to Guarantee Overdose Prevention Staffing

City Shelters to Guarantee Overdose Prevention Staffing

BY NATHAN RILEY | A measure approved by the City Council on October 31 guarantees that homeless shelters across New York will be staffed by people trained to prevent fatal overdoses. Three years ago, drug overdose became the leading cause of death among the homeless. The new legislation expands the city’s public health commitment to reduce […]

What to Make of Heroin Deaths

BY NATHAN RILEY | Philip Seymour Hoffman’s end was no anomaly. Overdose deaths have risen dramatically in New York City and the nation. He is one among thousands. The fact that he was the object of critical accolades was also not unusual. Hoffman was a high-performing heroin user — Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, John Belushi, and […]